WASHINGTON — March 16-22 is National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week (NIPAW) and the Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE) is urging members of the HVACR community to be on high alert for signs of refrigerant abuse. As an HVACR contractor, you may be the first to spot signs of abuse, and your awareness may save a life.

Watch for the following signs that may signal inhalant abuse: frequent a/c repair calls to the same home or neighborhood, premature refrigerant depletion, and damaged a/c units.

Parents are often unaware of the abuse, and by the time they find out their child is abusing inhalants, it’s too late.

What can you do? When you spot these signs, share your knowledge and approach homeowners in a considerate manner. Remember, the signs do not confirm abuse, and inhalant abusers could be anyone — those who live in the home, or others in the neighborhood. You can also offer refrigerant locking caps to homeowners or provide brochures to your customers to help raise awareness. Free brochures are available at www.inhalant.org.

Publication date: 3/17/2014 

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