With the advancing worldwide phaseout of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP’s) OzonAction Division of Technology has produced a series of factsheets on the safe use of the new alternative refrigerants.

“Many countries, particularly the developing countries, will soon be using the newer alternatives which possess very different toxicity, flammability, or higher pressure characteristics to R-22,” UNEP said. “Safety issues need to be carefully evaluated and considered whenever refrigeration and air conditioning equipment is installed, serviced, repaired, and dismantled. Many service technicians around the world will be unfamiliar with some of the properties of these new refrigerants, which is where these new guides come in.

“There are a number of flammable gases amongst the new alternatives. These include HFOs, some of the new blends, R-32, as well as the hydrocarbons,” UNEP added. “Again, many technicians will not have encountered these characteristics previously.”

Three separate factsheets cover the topics of toxicity, flammability, and higher pressures. To obtain the fact sheets, click on the links below:

Safe Use of Higher Pressure Refrigerants

Safe Use of Flammable Refrigerants

Safe Use of Toxic Refrigerants