The relationship between Freon and health can be explained in terms of the direct effects that Freon has on human health, as well the overall impact of Freon on the environment, which affects health. Freon is a complex product that comprises fluorine, carbon, chlorine and hydrogen gases. Available in colourless, non-flammable gases and liquids, Freon is denser than air and is used as part, or the entire ingredient of refrigerants, aerosol propellants and lubricants.
The direct link between Freon and Health
A direct contact (inhalation or physical contact) with Freon has short term cardio, muscle, skin and brain effects. Exposure to Freon causes arrhymia (irregular heart beat) and irregular breathing. Irregular breathing reduces the oxygen absorption rates (from the lungs to the bloodstream and organs), thereby, resulting in the retention and accumulation of the carbon dioxide emitted by the body. Sensitive-skinned people may suffer dermatitis or rashes from Freon exposure, and the cognitive (thought) and motor coordination functions are impaired. Given the density of Freon, hence its close-to-the-ground retention, pets, children and people, who are close to the ground, get more exposure to Freon, and are, therefore, more likely to experience Freon-related exposure symptoms.
The indirect link between Freon and Health
Freon depletes the ozone layer, thereby increasing the quantity and intensity of the Sun’s UV (ultraviolet) rays that reach the earth. Exposure to the dangerous, health-altering ultraviolet sun rays results in numerous health problems. Skin cancer is the most common and widely known effect of exposure to UV sun rays, but it is not the only adverse effect of Freon-polluted environment on health. Freon’s ozone-depleting characteristics have led to its strongly recommended phase out, as well as strict legislation that seek to ban its use and possession in the US.
A variety of gases make the Freon brand whose broad usage is getting phased out due to its adverse environmental impact. Freon and health are two issues whose direct or indirect relationship cannot be undermined. Direct contact with Freon results in numerous vital, but short-term health issues. However, the indirect effects of Freon (its environmental impact) result in fatal health complications that arise from exposure to the Sun’s ultraviolet rays. Regular medical check-ups, quick life evacuation and elimination of leaking Freon, as well as the enforcement of laws that ban the possession and use of Freon comprise some of the measures that can limit Freon exposure and compromised health.