F Gas Guidance

F Gas is a term which has been applied to gases which have the potential to damage the ozone layer. One common use is in refrigerants used in chillers and air conditioning units and there are two pieces of legislation that are applicable. Rather than go into detail, this web page just makes you aware of these regulations and points you to two excellent pieces of guidance.

Health & Safety, Environmental and QA Services and Systems

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Environmental Protection (Controls on Ozone-Depleting Substances) Regs 2002

Reg. 29 requires all people to ensure that:
After 1 Jan 2010, not to use HCFCs in the maintenance or servicing of refrigeration or air-conditioning equipment
After 1 Jan 2015 not to use HCFCs in refrigeration or air-conditioning equipment

Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regs 2007

Reg.6 requires operators of equipment using 3kg or more of F gases to maintain records of quantity and type of F gas, quantity added or recovered during servicing or final disposal.  The operator is normally the servicing company that looks after the equipment, but in absence of a clear contractual arrangement, it may be the end user. As a rule of thumb, a 10 kW air conditioning unit contains 3kg of refrigerant. See DEFRA guidance page 16 for advice on this.

Reg.7 requires operators and users to put in place arrangements for the proper recovery by certified personnel of F gases for recycling, reclamation or destruction

Ozone-Depleting Substances (Qualifications) Regs 2006 (+ Ammendment Regs 2008)

These require anybody working on equipment containing ozone-depleting substances to be suitably qualified. They state typical qualifications including:

What guidance is there?

Strategic Safety Systems have provided a simple-to-use listing of refrigerants.  If you know what the refrigerant is (say R22 or R401C), then this guide which tell you whether or not it is an HCFC.

DEFRA's initial guidance is available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/uk/fgas/pdf/fluorgasreg-guidance.pdf

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