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Iodotrifluoromethane: Toxicity Review
essential electronic equipment, crew compartments in combat vehicles, machinery spaces in military ships, and high bay rooms for flight simulators (Wickham 2002). The Army has begun a search to identify Halon 1301 replacements, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). In 1994, the United States under the Clean Air Act (CAA) banned the production and import of ozone-depleting substances, including halons (Halon 1211, 1301, and 2402). Those halons are being replaced with HFCs, HCFCs, and other chemicals. Before the use of these halon replacements by the Army, they must be reviewed to ascertain their ozone-depleting potential, as well as their efficacy, toxicity, flammability, and exposure potential. Iodotrifluoromethane (trifluoroiodomethane, trifluoromethyl iodide, trifluoroiodide, FIC-1311, CF3I; Chemical Abstract, Service number 2314-97-8) is one of several candidate compounds under consideration by the Army (and others) as a replacement for Halon 1301.
CFCs and halon substitutes have been the subjects of scientific inquiry and scrutiny by numerous organizations, such as EPA, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). EPA, under Section 612 of the CAA, is required to “evaluate substitutes for ozone-depleting substances in an effort to reduce risk to human health and the environment.” The EPA Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) was established to conduct the evaluations of these substitutes and to generate a list of acceptable substitutes for major industrial use sectors. The SNAP-use sectors include refrigeration and air conditioning; foam blowing; solvent cleaning; fire suppression and explosion protection; sterilants; aerosols; adhesives, coatings, and inks; and tobacco-fluffing agents. EPA defines “substitute” as “any chemical, product substitute, or alternative manufacturing process, existing or new, intended for use as a replacement for a Class I or Class II substance.”2
In 1995, EPA published a final rule under the SNAP program to accept CF3I as a substitute for Halon 1301 in “normally unoccupied areas only” (60 Fed. Reg. 31092 ). The rule stated that any employee who could possibly be in the area must be able to escape within 30 seconds (sec),
Class I substances include CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, methyl bromide, and hydrobromofluorocarbon. Class II (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) substances are those with any substitute that the EPA administrator determines may present adverse effects to human health or the environment where the administrator has identified an alternative that (1) reduces the overall risk to human health and the environment, and (2) is currently or potentially available (40 Code of Federal Regulations 82.172).