The refrigerant used to cool your car is either R-12 or R-134a. Both are toxic, if inhaled, and both can cause serious damage if handled improperly.
If you have ever gone automobile repair store, then you have probably noticed the one pound refrigerant replacement kits sold to charge refrigeration systems on automobiles.
This is a convenient service offered by the auto stores, but can prove dangerous and costly to the end user if he or she is not familiar with the safety practices that are involved with the maintenance of vehicles.
Always wear gloves when handling refrigerant.
Refrigerant is in its liquid form in the refrigerant bottles, when exposed to the atmosphere and to lower pressures, refrigerant expands rapidly and turns into a gas. This reaction causes the refrigerant to remove a lot of heat in the process. This is why the properties of refrigerant are so useful in cooling your vehicle, but also the reason why it can cause frostbite and serious injury when spilled.
Always wear long sleeves, long pants, and eye protection.
You want to prevent any type of skin exposure and, of course, you do not want to get it into your eyes.
Refrigerant when released into the atmosphere also causes environmental dangers.
Always work in a ventilated area.
Refrigerant is a respiratory irritant, so it is important to have a well ventilated work area, in case any of the material is accidentally released.