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No flammable refrigerants without training

BURKINA FASO: Companies in Africa have called for a halt to the introduction of flammable refrigerants and equipment until its technicians are appropriately trained.

In an open letter, U-3ARC, the refrigeration and air conditioning group representing companies in all 54 African countries, has declared that without training the introduction of flammable refrigerants and technologies in Africa is inappropriate. 

“This preliminary training must be accompanied by a vast awareness campaign among end users of these technologies which can cause disasters for humans, in terms of fires, even if they are beneficial for the environment,” it says.

U-3ARC argues that the risks are “enormous” and that it has already received reports of accidents.

“The protection of the environment only makes sense if the human being, who is at its center benefits from it. We find it imperative that this human being is safe from explosions due to flammable gases.

“This is an opportunity for us to firmly express Africa’s refusal to serve as a “guinea pig” for a technology, so far only tested here, in the absence of training sessions, without delay and supported by these same designers and other OEMs.”

The announcement comes as the world begins phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol, a move which will require the transition to flammable refrigerants. Further, the latest European F-gas revision proposals which would begin banning non-flammable HFCs in new equipment from as early as 2026, would also ban European manufacturers from exporting non-flammable HFC equipment at the same time.

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