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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Huffing Freon

04/09/2010

Question:

I just lost my little brother from it. I was going to see if maybe you would know how long it can stay in a trash bag?

Answer:

First of all, please accept our condolences on the loss of your brother.

When freon is spilled, the only decontamination recommended is adequate ventilation. If freon has been stored in a trash bag, simply taking it outside and turning the bag upside down or tearing it apart would be more than adequate to disperse all of the freon inside almost instantly. Because freon is heavier than air, it can “sit” in low, enclosed spaces, and for this reason can be dangerous when it is released in a room like a basement (no airflow, no place for the freon to disperse to).

As far as time goes, freon can stay in a bag indefinitely if the bag is well sealed, but the bag itself is in no way dangerous or contaminated once the freon has been emptied out of it.

Submitted by Matthew Chamberlain, PharmD Candidate
Midwestern University College of Pharmacy

For more information:

Go to the Addiction and Substance Abuse health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Carmen M Hadley, RPh, CSPI
Formerly:
Clinical Instructor
College of Pharmacy
The Ohio State University