ATMOsphere, a member of the Clean Cooling Coalition CCC, released a report intended to provide information to policymakers and end users of the risks of deploying a new generation of halogenated refrigerants, commonly known as HFOs, that belong to the poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) family and their degradation product, trifluoroacetic acid (TFA).
The report gathered studies reporting that HFO 1234yf completely decomposes into TFA within 10–12 days. TFA is extremely durable, ending up accumulating in rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands. This chemical is harmful to human health, even in small concentrations, and long-term exposure to it can damage liver and thyroid function. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) lists both HFO 1234yf and TFA as PFAS (‘forever chemicals’) in its recent fact cards published on the topic of PFAS.
In addition, the report presents evidence that the atmospheric degradation product of HFO1234ze is HFC23, with a GWP100 of 12,690.
Commonly used HFOs, such as 1234yf and 1234ze, as well as HFCs, such as HFC134a, are currently under scrutiny by five European chemical agencies that will submit a proposal for restriction in early January 2023. The proposal lists some possible regulatory actions, notably including a ban on chemicals containing up to 0.1% PFASs.
To read more, please consult the press release at this link or download the report here.