Freon®

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Description

[DuPont] A registered trademark for a series of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that were used as refrigerants, solvents, cleaning fluids, and Aerosol propellants. Freon was invented by Thomas Midgley Jr. and Charles Kettering in 1928. In general, CFC compounds are colorless liquids with a slight ethereal odor that are non-irritating, nonflammable, and chemically inert. However, by the late 1980s, scientists determined that chlorofluorocarbons released into the atmosphere were reacting with and diminishing the earth's ozone layer. Thus, a global plan was developed for phasing out the use of these chemicals by the end of the 20th century.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Freon-12; Freon-11 (trichlorofluoromethane)

Risks

Inhalation may cause mild narcosis and irregular heart beat. May decompose on heating to produce chlorine gas.

Resources and Citations