Agent Name

CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS

Alternative Name

CLASS

Major Category

Solvents

Synonyms

CLASSES; CFCs; Freons; Halons

Category

Chlorofluorocarbons

Comments

CFCs cause narcosis above levels of 500-1000 ppm, levels which may occur when used in a confined space. At high concentrations, CFCs can also cause cardiac sensitization and sudden death. [LaDou, p. 512-3] Chlorodifluoromethane, dichlorodifluoromethane, fluorotrichloromethane, 1,1,2-trichlorotrifluoroethane, and bromochlorodifluoromethane are listed by the U.N. International Drug Control Programme as ones subject to volatile substance abuse. [http://www.unodc.org] Cases of irritant asthma have been reported after exposure to Halon 1211 (bromochlorodifluoromethane), Halon 1301 (bromotrifluoromethane) used in fire extinguishers, and from heated freons. [Matrat M et al. Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome caused by bromochlorodifluoromethane from fire extinguishers. Occup Environ Med 2004;61:712-714] The high concentrations that cause anesthetic effects can also displace oxygen and cause asphyxia. Some agents are hepatoxic after absorption of large doses as seen in animal studies. In the presence of intense heat or flame, CFCs may decompose producing irritant gases such as phosgene, HCL, HF, and carbonyl fluoride. [Olson, p. 224] CFCs are heavier than air and accumulate in low-lying areas. [HSDB]

Restricted

The use of CFCs is restricted with a phase-out scheduled for many according to "The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer." [LaDou, p. 512]

Adverse Effects
Neurotoxin

CNS Solvent Syndrome

Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

Other Poison

Simple Asphyxiant

Links to Other NLM Databases
Toxicity Information

Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: