Understanding The Dangers Posed By Freon

All of the cooling systems in your home—whether your air conditioner, refrigerator, or even certain dehumidifiers—accomplish their cooling through the use of Freon. Freon is a term that encompasses a wide variety of chlorofluorocarbons, all of which pose a potential health risk should they escape into the air of your home. If you would like to learn more about the particular dangers posed by Freon, read on. This article will provide a useful overview to the subject.

The Basics

Freon is a highly volatile chemical substance. Inside of a refrigerant system, it shuttles back and forth between a gaseous and a liquid state, thanks to the action of the compressor. In the open atmosphere, however, Freon will always take the state of a gas—that said, one that is much heavier than regular air.

What this means is that, should Freon escape through a hole or other breach in the refrigerant system, it will immediately sink to the floor. There, thanks to its highly volatile nature, it will soon begin to disperse in the air. Freon is at its most dangerous is breathed in while in a more concentrated state. Thanks to its tendency to sink down, children and pets are most at risk of such inhalation given their closer proximity to the floor. Adding to the risk is the fact that Freon is both colorless and odorless.

Long Term Health Risks

The good news is that Freon does not pose many long term health risks. In other words, it is not a carcinogenic substance, nor will it cause damage to the liver. Likewise, it is not a substance that accumulates inside of the body; rather it quickly passes back out through your natural process of exhalation. What this means is that, should you happen to breath small amounts of Freon—even on a regular basis—the long term health effects will remain thankfully few.

Short Term Health Risks

When inhaled in high enough doses at once, Freon is capable of causing potentially life-threatening injuries. That's because it will act to cut off the oxygen supply to your body's cells. Fortunately, the amount of Freon contained in most home appliances is simply not enough to cause sudden death. However, those who have been exposed to Freon may notice that they are having difficulty breathing. They may also experience eye, ear, or throat irritation, as well as headaches and nausea. Move such victims to a place with fresh air; if symptoms continue, do not hesitate to contact an emergency health professional.

For more information, contact local professionals like D & R Service Inc.