Towards a low emissions future



The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has an excellent reference page on its website focused on the Standard 34 listed refrigerants.

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Legislation

The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 and related Acts (the OSGG Acts) protect the environment by reducing emissions of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs). The OSGG Acts control the manufacture, import and export of ODS and SGGs and products containing these gases. These gases are commonly used as refrigerant gases in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

On 30 March 2017, the Minister for Environment and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, introduced the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 to Parliament, which will implement the key outcomes of the 2014-2016 Program Review. Copies of the legislation and the related regulations are available at the Department of the Environment and Energy website.

September 2014
HFC R32 fact sheet

The Air conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers Association of Australia (AREMA), in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Supplier Association (CESA), has prepared a technical fact sheet on the R32 refrigerant. It answers questions on its potential flammability, toxicity and carcinogenic characteristics. Research confirms that R32 is not an extremely flammable, highly toxic gas that causes cancer (as some industry representatives have suggested).



There is no better demonstration of the dangers of using a flammable refrigerant in the automotive industry than the botched experiment that injured the academic whose research work was pivotal in the push for the use of flammable refrigerants in mobile systems for which they were not designed by any mainstream car maker on the planet.

The story was hushed up for some time, and only emerged in court, when the academic, Dr Ian MacLaine Cross was convicted on Workcover charges arising from the incident.

MacLaine Cross, of the University of New South Wales, was charged by Workcover NSW on two breaches of the Dangerous Goods Act. On 12 July 2001, in a University of New South Wales carpark at Kensington, he negligently and carelessly used a hydrocarbon gas, in such a manner and circumstance as to cause or to be likely to cause injury to himself. On the second count, MacLaine Cross was charged with failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons who were affected by his acts and omissions of work, in particular John Reynolds, Paul McGregor and Michael Belsted, who were all injured in the explosion which resulted from MacLaine Cross’ demonstration. MacLaine Cross pleaded guilty to both charges and was convicted on the first and was required to enter into a bond to be of good behaviour for twelve months.   On the second charge, Chief Magistrate Miller exercised his discretion and did not record a conviction, on the defendant entering into a bond to be of good behaviour for twelve months. He also allowed costs totalling $5,720 against the defendant.

MacLaine Cross was then senior lecturer at the University School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Chief Industrial Magistrate G Miller said “This, in many respects, was described as probably a stupid incident when looking at the particular circumstances and hindsight, no doubt the defendant thought otherwise prior to the incident."