Refrigerants play an integral role in the comfort of the UNC Charlotte community. Building HVAC equipment, chillers, refrigerators, freezers, lab equipment, and more contain chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants. These refrigerants are closely regulated by several agencies, including ANSI/ASHRAE (Standard 15), the EPA (Clean Air Act Section 608), the Code of Federal Regulations Recycling and Emission Reduction (40 CFR Part 82), and the North Carolina DOT (SPP# 1910.101). The Environmental Health and Safety Office provides numerous consultative and investigative services to ensure continued compliance and safe handling of campus refrigerants, as well as provides assistance in refrigerant leak alarms, passive refrigerant storage, proper refrigerant transportation, and refrigerant reclamation and recycling.

What you need to know

  • Refrigerant Leak Alarm Systems are in place in every campus mechanical room containing chillers and air condition systems. Should a refrigerant alarm sound, the area should be evacuated promptly and campus police and EHS notified immediately.
  • Refrigerant Storage Areas have been designated on campus for safe passive refrigerant short- and long-term storage.
  • Refrigerants are asphyxiants, and some may be mildly flammable or toxic. Refrigerants should only be handled by trained, EPA 608 certified HVAC technicians.
  • Refrigerants are responsible for ~10% of worldwide ozone depletion (NIST). Preventing refrigerant release to the atmosphere is paramount in protecting the environment.
  • Proper PPE, including impervious clothing, eye protection, gloves, and boots are required for safe refrigerant handling.


The Environmental Health and Safety Office offers the following services:

  • Refrigerant Safety Assessments
  • Refrigerant Leak Alarm Inspections
  • Infrared Refrigerant Leak Detection
  • Refrigerant Leak Alarm Response
  • Passive Refrigerant Recycling
  • Refrigerant Cylinder Recertification and Replacement
  • Refrigerant Cylinder Removal and Relocation
  • EPA Refrigerant Release Reporting