FACT SHEET: Substitute Listing in the Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning Sector
- EPA is listing R-152a as an acceptable alternative with use conditions for motor vehicle air conditioning systems.
- This final rule allows the use of a new alternative to ozone depleting substances in the motor vehicle air conditioning sector and outline the conditions necessary for its safe use. The substitute is a non ozone-depleting gas and consequently does not contribute to stratospheric ozone depletion.
- This new alternative, when used with proper risk mitigation technologies, would reduce the impact of mobile air conditioners on the environment.
- Under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program (Section 612 of the Clean Air Act), EPA reviews alternatives to Class I and Class II ozone depleting substances (ODS) and approves use of alternatives which reduce the overall risk to public health and the environment.
- Since 1994, the SNAP program has reviewed approximately 400 alternatives across the industrial, consumer, and military sectors.
- The European Union has proposed and is expected to ban the use of HFC-134a and other fluorinated gases in a variety of applications. By the end of the decade, car manufacturers in the European market may have to move to this new alternative. In response, U.S. car manufacturers are developing systems using this new alternative refrigerant as well.
- If auto manufacturers chose to adopt this technology, they would be required to install safety devices to mitigate risks of fire or over-exposure to the refrigerant in the event of an accidental release during servicing or vehicle operation.
For Further Information
- Additional information on motor vehicle air conditioning refrigerants can be found here or by contacting Karen Thundiyil of EPA's Office of Atmospheric Programs at (202) 343-9464.