Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

HCFC, Klorfluorkarboner, ofullständigt halogenerade


Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

CAS no


Molecular formula


Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are also known under the trade name Freon1. These substances evaporate easily and are very stable.


HCFCs have been used in insulation materials and as cooling agents. HCFCs were used as substitutes for CFCs in insulation materials during the period 1991-1996 but were prohibited for this use in 1997. In 1998 the substances were also prohibited for use as cooling agent in new installations2.

Nowadays HCFCs are only allowed as cooling agents in service and maintenance of existing refrigeration and air conditioning systems. From 2015 onwards, it is prohibited to use HCFCs as cooling agents in existing systems with the exception for small units in an amount of maximum 3 kg, that were in operation on June 1, 2002 and have been, and continue to be, in operation since.3

Sources and transportation pathways

HCFCs are emitted to air and emissions occur nowadays primarily as the result of leakage from products where hydrochlorofluorocarbons were used as cooling agents or in insulation material4.

Effects on environment and health

The gaseous hydrochlorofluorocarbons cause ozone depletion. A thinner ozone layer contributes to increased radiation on earth. Some HCFCs are also poisonous to aquatic organisms resulting in long-term effects.

The health effects vary between different HCFCs. Some HCFCs may irritate the skin and cause severe eye irritation5, whereas others are believed to have adverse effects on fertility and the unborn child6.

International agreements and regulations

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons are regulated by the UN Montreal Protocol, the EU VOC Solvents Emissions Directive (1999/13/EC) and the EU Regulation on substances that deplete the ozone layer (EC 1005/2009). The UN Protocol on PRTRs as well as and the EU E-PRTR regulation regulate how data on hydrochlorofluorocarbon emissions is made available.


1 http://www3.kemi.se/sv/Innehall/Statistik/Kortstatistik/Kortstatistik-over-amnen-och-amnesgrupper/CFC-HCFC-och-HFC-freoner/
2 http://www.naturvardsverket.se/Sa-mar-miljon/Klimat-och-luft/Ozonskiktet/Ozonnedbrytande-amnen/Om-CFC/
3 http://www.naturvardsverket.se/Sa-mar-miljon/Klimat-och-luft/Ozonskiktet/Ozonnedbrytande-amnen/Amnen-som-bryter-ner-ozonskiktet/4 http://www.naturvardsverket.se/Sa-mar-miljon/Klimat-och-luft/Ozonskiktet/Ozonnedbrytande-amnen/Om-CFC/
5 https://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/cl-inventory-database/-/discli/details/79261
6 https://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/cl-inventory-database/-/discli/details/54888