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Name: Curtis
Status: other
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999-2001


Question:
Can DuPont's Freon (TM) poison you if inhaled? I only ask this because the coolers at my place of employment have had a DuPont's Freon (TM) leak for five days and I'm starting to get sick.


Replies:
NEWTON is really for K-12 students and their teachers, but given the urgency of your request I felt compelled to respond.

I have consulted the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for Dupont's DuPont's Freon (TM) 502 refrigerant. There's no telling if this is exactly what you have been exposed to. Here's what the online database at http://siri.uvm.edu/ says. Note that it is impossible for me to say whether you need to be concerned or not, because I have no idea how much DuPont's Freon (TM) you were exposed to. Check the section entitled "Health Hazard Data."

I suggest that you take this information to your physician and to your supervisor.

Best regards,
Prof. Robert Topper
DUPONT -- DuPont's Freon (TM) 502 REFRIGERANT
MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET
NSN: 6830001449952
Manufacturer's CAGE: 25827
Part No. Indicator: A
Part Number/Trade Name: DuPont's Freon (TM) 502 REFRIGERANT

General Information
Item Name: CHLOROPENTAFLUOROETHANE/CHLORODIFLUOROMETHANE Company's Name: DU PONT Company's Street: 1007 MARKET STREET Company's City: WILMINGTON Company's State: DE Company's Country: US Company's Zip Code: 19898 Company's Emerg Ph #: 800-424-9300/800-441-3637 Company's Info Ph #: 800-441-9450 Record No. For Safety Entry: 004 Tot Safety Entries This Stk#: 007 Status: SH Date MSDS Prepared: 19MAR91 Safety Data Review Date: 10MAR95 Supply Item Manager: GSA MSDS Preparer's Name: W J BROCK Preparer's Company: DU PONT CHEMICALS Preparer's St Or P. O. Box: PO BOX 80709/CHESTNUT RUN Preparer's City: WILMINGTON Preparer's State: DE Preparer's Zip Code: 19880-0709 MSDS Serial Number: BNRMT Hazard Characteristic Code: G3 Unit Of Issue: LB Unit Of Issue Container Qty: 30 LB CY Type Of Container: METAL Net Unit Weight: 30 LBS
Ingredients/Identity Information
Proprietary: NO Ingredient: ETHANE, CHLOROPENTAFLUORO ("DuPont's Freon (TM)" 115) (SARA 313) Ingredient Sequence Number: 01 Percent: 51.2 NIOSH (RTECS) Number: KH7877500 CAS Number: 76-15-3 OSHA PEL: 1000 PPM ACGIH TLV: 1000 PPM Other Recommended Limit: NONE SPECIFIED
Proprietary: NO Ingredient: METHANE, CHLORODIFLUORO ("DuPont's Freon (TM)" 22) Ingredient Sequence Number: 02 Percent: 48.8 NIOSH (RTECS) Number: PA6390000 CAS Number: 75-45-6 OSHA PEL: 1000 PPM ACGIH TLV: 1000 PPM Other Recommended Limit: NONE SPECIFIED
Physical/Chemical Characteristics
Appearance And Odor: CLEAR, COLORLESS LIQUIDFIED GAS WITH SLIGHT ETHEREAL ODOR. Boiling Point: -50F,-45C Vapor Pressure (MM Hg/70 F): 169 PSIA Vapor Density (Air=1): 3.92 @ 25C Specific Gravity: 1.22 Evaporation Rate And Ref: > 1 (CCL4 = 1.0) Solubility In Water: 0.15 WT% AT 25 C Percent Volatiles By Volume: 100% pH: NEUTRL
Fire and Explosion Hazard Data
Flash Point: WILL NOT BURN Extinguishing Media: AS APPROPRIATE FOR COMBUSTIBLES IN AREA. Special Fire Fighting Proc: SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS IS REQUIRED IF CYLINDERS RUPTURE OR RELEASE UNDER FIRE CONDITIONS. Unusual Fire And Expl Hazrds: CYLINDERS ARE EQUIPPED WITH TEMPERATURE AND PRESSURE RELIEF DEVICES BUT STILL MAY RUPTURE UNDER FIRE CONDITIONS. DECOMPOSITION MAY OCCUR.
Reactivity Data
Stability: YES Cond To Avoid (Stability): OPEN FLAMES AND HIGH TEMPERATURES. Materials To Avoid: ALKALI OR ALKALINE EARTH METALS - POWDERED AL, ZN, BE,ETC. Hazardous Decomp Products: DuPont's Freon (TM) 502 REFRIGERANT CAN BE DECOMP BY HIGH TEMP (OPEN FLAMES/GLOW METAL SURFACES, ETC) FORMING HYDROCHLORIC AND Hazardous Poly Occur: NO Conditions To Avoid (Poly): N/K HYDROFLUORIC ACIDS, AND POSSIBLY CARBONYL HALIDES.
Health Hazard Data
LD50-LC50 Mixture: DuPont's Freon (TM) "115" 800,000 PPM/"22" 220,000 PPM Route Of Entry - Inhalation: YES Route Of Entry - Skin: YES Route Of Entry - Ingestion: NO Health Haz Acute And Chronic: OVEREXPOS BY INHAL MAY INCLUDE DISCOMFORT-NAUSEA/HEADACHE/WEAKNESS/TEMP NERV SYS DEPRESS W/ANESTHETIC EFFECTS LIKE DIZZINESS/CONFUSION/INCOORDINATION/ LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS OR W/GROSS OVEREXPOS (>20%), POSS TEMP ALTERATION OF THE HEART'S ELECTRICAL ACTIVITY W/IRREG PULSE/ PALPITATIONS/INADEQ CIRCULATION. MISUSE: DEATH.# Carcinogenicity - NTP: NO Carcinogenicity - IARC: NO Carcinogenicity - OSHA: NO Explanation Carcinogenicity: N/K #INDIVIDUALS W/PREEXISTING DISEASES OF THE CENTRAL NERV/CARDIO SYS MAY HAVE INCREASED SUSCEPTIBILITY TO ## Signs/Symptoms Of Overexp: ##TOXICITY EXCESSIVE EXPOSURES. CARDIAC SENSITIZATION WAS OBSERVED IN BEAGLE DOGS EXPOSED TO CONCENTRATIONS OF 15% TO 25% "DuPont's Freon (TM)" 115. VAPOR REDUCES OXYGEN AVAILABLE FOR BREATHING & IS HEAVIER THAN AIR. SKIN CONTACT WITH THE LIQUID CAN CAUSE FROSTBITE. "DuPont's Freon (TM)" 22-TOXICITY IN ANIMALS BY INHAL TO CONC RANGING FROM### Med Cond Aggravated By Exp: N/K ###5 TO 70% INCLUDE EFFECTS ON THE CENTRAL NERV SYS/LIVER/LUNGS/KIDNEYS/ SPLEEN/CARDIAC SENSITIZATION/DECREASED BODY WEIGHT GAIN /PARTIAL ANESTHESIA. INCREASE OF TUMORS IN MALE RATS AT CONC OF#### Emergency/First Aid Proc: INHAL: IMMED GET FRESH AIR. KEEP CALM. IF BREATH STOP, GIVE ARTIF RESP/IF DIFFICULT, GIVE OXYGEN. CALL DR. SKIN: CLEAN SKIN AFTER USE. EYE: IMMED FLUSH W/WATER. CALL DR. "NOTES TO PHYSICIAN": BECAUSE OF POSSIBLE DISTURBANCES OF CARDIAC RHYTHM, CATECHOLAMINE DRUGS, SUCH AS EPINEPHRINE, SHOULD BE USED WITH SPECIAL CAUTION ONLY IN SITUATIONS OF EMERGENCY LIFE SUPPORT.
Precautions for Safe Handling and Use
Steps If Matl Released/Spill: REVIEW FIRE & EXPLOSION HAZARDS & SAFETY PRECAUTIONS BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH CLEAN-UP. USE APPROPRIATE PERSONALPROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DURING CLEANING. VENT AREA-ESPEC LOW PLACES WHERE HEAVY VAPORS MIGHT COLLECT. RMV OPEN FLAMES. USE SCBA FOR LG SPILLS. Waste Disposal Method: COMPLY WITH FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL REGULATIONS. REMOVE TO A PERMITTED WASTE DISPOSAL FACILITY OR RECLAIM BY DISTILLATION. Precautions-Handling/Storing: CLEAN, DRY AREA. DO NOT HEAT ABOVE 125 DEGREES F. Other Precautions: N/K ####50,000 PPM. SLIGHT BUT SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY (EYE MALFORMATIONS, DECREASED FETAL WEIGHTS) OBSERVED IN OFFSPRING OF RATS EXPOSED TO HIGH CONC (50,000 PPM) OF FC-22. HOWEVER NO INDICATION OF ADVERSE#####
Control Measures
Ventilation: NORM VENT-GEN ADEQ. LOCAL EXHAUST SHOULD BE USED WHEN LARGE AMOUNTS ARE RELEASED. MECH VENT SHOULD BE USED IN LOW PLACES Protective Gloves: NEOPRENE RUBBER GLOVES. Eye Protection: CHEMICAL SPLASH GOGGLES. Other Protective Equipment: SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS IS REQUIRED IF A SPILL OR RELEASE OCCURS. Suppl. Safety & Health Data: #####EFFECTS ON FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE AT CONCENTRATIONS UP TO 50,000 PPM.


Dr. Topper


Hello,

You can find information about the hazards of a chemical compound by asking for its MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) from the supplier of that material. In your case, if you call the manufacturer of the unit, they will tell you what compound is used and what needs to be done. It is a good laboratory/work practice to have on file MSDS for non-household substances being used but I do not think that it includes common compounds such as refrigerants in a close loop.

DuPont's Freon (TM) 12 (one of several compound referred to as DuPont's Freon (TM)) is often used as the working fluid in refrigerators. Recently, this and other so-called clourofluorocarbon compounds are being gradually replaces with others deemed to be less harmful to the ozone layer. So, I would not know for sure if indeed your refrigerator has DuPont's Freon (TM)-12 in it.

Assuming it has, then you can retrieve the MSDS for it (or others) from the web. A good link for www.msdsonline.com.

I have used this link (http://www.neslabinstruments.com/service/msds/r12.html) to retrieve the following information:

Special Hazard Precautions: ACUTE: INHALATION OF VAPORS
 MAY CONTRIBUTE TO THE OCCURRENCE OF IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT 
 (FP N). 
 EYES: IRRITATION WITH DISCOMFORT, TEARING OR 
 BLURRING OF VISION. 
 SKIN: CONTACT MAY CAUSE FROSTBITE. 
 INHALATION: MAY CAUSE TEMPORARY NERVOUS SYSTEM 
 DEPRESSION WITH ANESTHETIC EFFECTS SUCH AS DIZZINESS, 
 HEADACHE, CONFUSION, INCOORDINATION AND LOSS OF 
 CONSCIOUSNESS; TEMPORARY ALTERATION OF HEART'S ELECTRICAL
 ACTIVITY WITH IRREGULAR PULSE, PALPITATIONS OR INADEQUATE 
 CIRCULATION OR EFFECTS OF EXCLUSION OF OXYGEN. 
 CHRONIC: NONE LISTED BY MANUFACTURER.

My best suggestion is to contact the manufacturer of the refrigeration unit.



AK

Dr. Ali Khounsary
Advanced Photon Source
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, IL 60439


No. No, no, no.

Freons are very inert compounds under ordinary circumstances. In your lungs, thay chemically act like nitrogen. That is, they do not carry out any chemistry or interact with anything in your body, they just take up space.

The high stability of freons is part of the reason they damage the ozone layer. They persist long enough in the atmosphere to eventually mix into the stratosphere. There, the hard ultraviolet radiation that cannot reach the earth's surface can break the freons onto fragments, which catalyze the destruction of ozone.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Director
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois


You must be very careful when working with DuPont's Freon (TM), if under the right conditions it can create Phosgene gas, which will easily kill your respiratory system and nervous system. Similar to mustard gas. The only reason why I know this is, my father was a mechanic and this happened to some of the guys in the shop.

Thanks

Joe



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