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Firefighters call R1234yf “dangerous”

21400882_sGERMANY: Germany’s professional firefighters’ association is calling for a clearly visible warning on all cars that are filled with the new air conditioning refrigerant R1234yf.

Despite opposition to its use from the German car manufacturers, particularly Daimler, R1234yf is already operating in around 90,000 cars in Germany and numbers continue to increase.

The firefghters’ association, the BVF, which represents around 28,000 professional firefighters in Germany, has joined with the German environmental group DUH in describing the new refrigerant as “dangerous” and calling for the fastest possible transition to CO2.

“R1234yf can in accidents for first responders and police officers but also rescue services to be extremely dangerous for us,“  said the deputy national chairman of the professional firefighters’ association, Daniel Dahlke.

Together with DUH we therefore demand for the vehicles already on the market with R1234yf a clear warnings on the windshield,” he added.

Two years’ ago rival German firefighters’ association the Deutscher Feuerwehr Verband (DFV) gave the new refrigerant the all clear. Following consultations with the German automotive industry association, the DFV said it was “now convinced that the new refrigerant R1234yf has the same safety standards as R134a.” It added that it considered it safe for passengers and emergency services.

In an update, a spokesperson for the DFV told the Cooling Post that its position had not changed: “R1234yf poses no increased risk to firefighters wearing protection-gear appropriate for a fire.”

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