There have been signs recently that R-40 has been supplied in 30 lb. cylinders and marked as R-134a, according to the Mobile Air Conditioning Society.
R-40 and R-40 with other refrigerants have been used to service both stationary and mobile A/C systems in various parts of the world.
MACS says currently there has been no indication that cylinders containing R-40 are in the North American market. However, because there is indication that this is happening in other parts of the world, MACS believes there may be the potential for the refrigerant to appear in the North American market.
R-40 is said to be extremely toxic, flammable and highly reactive when exposed to aluminum. In some cases, R-40 may react with aluminum to form a third highly unstable compound that can react violently with air, according to a MACS bulletin,
MACS is in the process of formulating guidelines for instances when R-40 refrigerant cylinders are found.
Issues under consideration include:
o Establishing the ability to identify cylinder contents;
o Establishing a safe method of determining if a system contains R-40;
o Establishing a way to remove the refrigerant from a system;
o Determining potential damage to systems that contain aluminum; and
o Exploring exposure issues.