USA: A toxic refrigerant made obsolete when CFCs were introduced in the 1930s has been identified as the gas involved in a leak in an old apartment building in Milwaukee.
It is reported that the Milwaukee Fire Department and a hazardous materials team responded to a call from workers at the two-storey apartment building yesterday (Wednesday) who reported what they first thought was a natural gas leak. The gas was subsequently identified as sulphur dioxide, an old refrigerant commonly used
A worker was said to have been moving some old refrigeration unit in the apartment when a pipe broke, spraying the refrigerant into the worker's face. Another person, thought to be a resident, who came to help felt sick. Both were taken to hospital for observation.
Reports suggest that the sulphur dioxide was contained in an old distributed refrigeration system left over from when the apartments were built.