This past March, a 12-year old seventh grader in Victorville, California inhaled HCFC-22 from an air conditioning unit in the backyard of her grandmother's home. She was later found passed out on the bathroom floor. Rushed to the emergency room, she was later pronounced dead. She had used the R-22 in a ritual called huffing, the intentional inhalation of chemical vapors to attain a mental high or euphoric effect.
Inhaling the substance prevents the body from getting oxygen and you can also get frostbite from it. In addition, Inhaling refrigerant can lead to death. The chemicals affect the heart and can cause abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks and/or extremely high blood pressure. Refrigerant poisoning can cause irreversible brain damage. Another danger is suffocation from inhaling the toxins in an enclosed area. At the very least, refrigerant huffing can cause loss of vision, abdominal pain, vomiting blood, difficulty breathing, throat pain and swelling and burning of the mucous membranes. A tell-tale sign is when the service tech finds a butter knife laying next to a central air conditioning condenser that has been depleted of refrigerant, with it's service ports visibly damaged.
If you have anymore questions regarding this or would like to know of ways to help prevent your refrigerant from being used as an inhalant, feel free to contact us.