Breathing air that is contaminated with Freon can cause respiratory difficulties, organ damage and, in some cases, death. Symptoms can vary depending on the extent of the Freon exposure, but even a small amount of exposure can cause serious symptoms in humans.
Mild symptoms of Freon exposure include excitability, dizziness, changes in heart rate and headaches. The lining of the throat or nose may become irritated, and the throat may swell. Pain in any exposed mucous membranes, such as the mouth, throat or eyes, is common after exposure. These symptoms can occur within minutes. More serious symptoms can occur after prolonged exposure.
Serious symptoms of breathing Freon can occur when the chemical is inhaled directly or when exposure to it lasts for more than a few moments. Serious signs of Freon exposure include irritation of the lungs, burns on the esophagus and irritation of the stomach. Necrotic skin lesions or tissue damage may develop when the Freon comes into contact with the body. Lung failure or death may occur with prolonged exposure to Freon. Fluid buildup in the lungs is also a common symptom.
Prolonged exposure to Freon may cause brain damage, particularly when the substance is inhaled directly. Spilled Freon should be treated as a hazardous situation, and the area should be evacuated and ventilated quickly to prevent Freon poisoning.