Skip to comments.Freon can KILL you
Posted on 07/12/2010 12:47:45 PM PDT by rstrahan
We all take automotive refrigerant (R-12/R-134) as part of the car. But this stuff can KILL YOU. Found out the hard way. Wife was in the car, AC failed, dumped all the freon into the cabin of the car. She got a big shot of it. 30 minutes later, she is very dizzy, very sick. An hour, she's flat on the floor, throwing up blood. Got her to the ER, they started work. She's home now and recovering. But if we had not got her to the ER, she could have died. You do research, the medical articles say "if you survive 72 hours". YIKES.
So, if you get exposed to this stuff, get to the ER immediately. It is NOTHING TO FOOL AROUND WITH.
I thought they didn’t use freon any more.
Good to hear she’s home recovering and thanks for the advice.
Thank God she survived! Was it from breathing it or from having it on her clothing/feet, etc.?
I don’t understand.... just from inhaling it?
Thanks. What model car and how old? Who charged it last? Did they know what they were doing?
The hoses and gages used with R-134A don't work with R-12. Different connector, the whole bit.
I googled it and got this:
...and other sites. A snippet:
When Freon gases are in very high concentration, they can cause dizziness, asphyxia and loss of coordination and concentration. They may cause irritation, particularly with regard to sensitive skin (skin rashes, dermatitis, etc.), but the good news is that Freon has no long term effects on health. Freon is not a mutagen, teratogen or carcinogen, and it does not affect the liver.
There were kids back in high school that used to huff this stuff to get a high. I can imagine the stuff is rather dangerous just judging from the way they acted after huffing it. Thanks goodness she’s alright. What kind of recovery time is she looking at?
I’m glad she’s OK. I’ve never heard of this and I used to do auto A/C when I was a mechanic.
Apparently it is incredibly bad for you:
>> Freon has no long term effects on health. Freon is not a mutagen, teratogen or carcinogen, and it does not affect the liver.
“Ask your doctor if Freon is right for you.”
oh, and you can buy R-134A at Walmart in 12-24oz cans, and at Sam’s club in 20LB cannisters.
I understand that drawing it thru a lit cigarette will kill a person pretty fast. Decomposes when heated into phosgene or something.
Now that was funny.
MSDS for R-134a.
POTENTIAL HEALTH HAZARDS
SKIN: Irritation would result from a defatting action on tissue. Liquid contact could cause frostbite.
EYES: Liquid contact can cause severe irritation and frostbite. Mist may irritate.
INHALATION: R-134A is low in acute toxicity in animals. When oxygen levels in air are reduced to 12-14% by displacement, symptoms of asphyxiation, loss of coordination, increased pulse rate and deeper respiration will occur. At high levels, cardiac arrhythmia may occur.
INGESTION: Ingestion is unlikely because of the low boiling point of the material. Should it occur, discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract from rapid evaporation of the material and consequent evolution of gas would result. Some effects of inhalation and skin exposure would be expected.
DELAYED EFFECTS: None Known
4. FIRST AID MEASURES
SKIN: Promptly flush skin with water until all chemical is removed. If there is evidence of frostbite, bathe (do not rub) with lukewarm (not hot) water. If water is not available, cover with a clean, soft cloth or similar covering. Get medical attention if symptoms persist.
EYES: Immediately flush eyes with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes (in case of frostbite, water should be lukewarm, not hot) lifting eyelids occasionally to facilitate irrigation. Get medical attention if symptoms persist.
INHALATION: Immediately remove to fresh air. If breathing has stopped, give artificial respiration. Use oxygen as required, provided a qualified operator is available. Get medical attention immediately. DO NOT give epinephrine (adrenaline).
INGESTION: Ingestion is unlikely because of the physical properties and is not expected to be hazardous. DO NOT induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by a physician.
ADVICE TO PHYSICIAN: Because of the possible disturbances of cardiac rhythm, catecholamine drugs, such as epinephrine, should be used with special caution and only in situations of emergency life support. Treatment of overexposure should be directed at the control of symptoms and the clinical conditions.
From the second site you listed:
“The most common poisoning occurs when people intentionally sniff a type of refrigerant called freon. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to long-term brain damage and sudden death.”
Sounds like something you’d see in Reefer Madness. All the sites I hit say there are no long term effects with the exception of this: “However, if you have known heart problems, you need to be very careful with Freon because it can cause irregular heartbeat, i.e. cardiac arrhythmia.”
Yes Phosgene is very toxic. I understand it was used in chem weapons at some point.
What year your vehicle?
So, if a person is smoking and at the same time they take a strong drag the air is dense with freon, serious side effects could result?
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