A group of refrigeration trade bodies have joined forces to publish a guide on the key criteria to distinguish safe refrigerant sources from illegal ones, designed to help companies recognise illegal refrigerants.
AREA, the European association of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump contractors, along with fellow organisations, ASERCOM (Association of European Refrigeration Component Manufacturers), EFCTC European Fluorocarbons Technical Committee and EPEE (European Partnership for Energy and the Environment) are concerned that with the EU F-Gas regulation and HFC phase down, the pressure on HFCs, particularly when they have a high GWP, has considerably increased.
AREA stated: “Refrigerants have become precious goods. They are essential for the safe and reliable operation of a business – just as medicine can be essential for life. Therefore, companies cannot afford to take any risk.”
Therefore the leaflet details that to ensure refrigerants are safe, buyers should purchase refrigerant from a reputable distributor, should not buy refrigerants in disposable cylinders which are banned in the EU and avoid purchases from internet platforms.
The publication added: “If the price by your supplier is unusually low compared to your expected offer, be prepared to check for other indicators including refrigerant cylinders, documentation such as a safety data sheet, and labelling.”
Furthermore, it emphasised the environmental impact of illegal refrigerants, saying: “Illegal trade undermines the F-Gas regulation‘s aim to phase down HFCs. Risks such as refrigerant leakage into the atmosphere increase even further with the use of inadequate cylinders, or illegal disposable cylinders which are not allowed to be produced/used in the EU according to regulations.”
The leaflet is available to download from any of the associations’ websites.