I'm sorry, folks, really.
I never envisioned introducing myself to this forum in this way....but let me back up just a tad.
I've been lurking around this forum for a few weeks now. I found this place because I was chasing information about KA mixers and the info available in the threads here is amazing! (Thanks Chocolate and others for the info that lead to my getting a Hobart KA!)
The reason I started this way is 'cuz I read something in this thread that I just couldn't abide!
I read a couple of assertions that I can't let pass without challenge; these types of statements (dire warnings of danger with no factual basis) are the beginnings of "urban legends" that just get bigger.
BuckyTom, I mean no disrepect to you.
1. <could be leaking freon, in which case it could be dangerous.>
2. <you could get cancer from breathing in freon.>
3. < the guy that created refrigeration died from it...>
I'm no chef and I'm willing to bet you're a very good one, but on today's Refrigeration Quiz, I afraid you get three 'F's!
1. Freon is non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, non-flammable and many other wonderful things (reference links aplenty on request). Freon is not dangerous in any way except that it does not contain Oxygen, so you coudn't use it in your scuba tank.
The release of all of the freon in a typical fridge into a typical kitchen would not pose a danger, even if it were a sudden release. Though you'd probably step out of the room for a minute 'cuz it would make a temporary fog(!)
There is evidence that chloroflourocarbons used in SOME freon types may be harming the ozone layer and this has lead to the industry siwtching to different freons for some applications. The "freon 22" that has been the most common in refrigerators is ( I believe) not even in that group.
2. patently false, see above.
3. False. Not sure where to start with this one. The guy who "created refrigeration" is sorta vague...the earliest inventor was in the 1700's and he didn't develop it further, the first guy to really put it to practical use on a large scale (Carrier) was in the late 1800's.
Now here's the "bit o'truth" that fuels this type of misunderstanding: before Freon was invented, all refrigeration systems used dangerous gases as the refrigerant. These gases were typically Ammonia, sulphur dioxide or Methyl Chloride. These were definitely dangerous and there were, in fact, fatalities associated with their release. Home refrigerators were not common at the time in part because of the danger and their high cost. To get the cost down, volume (sales) would have to go up...for that to happen, the danger would have to be eliminated. The industry got together to fix the problem; GM, Frigidaire and DuPont jointly created 'Freon' in 1928. Safe refrigerators were now available and millions were sold in just the first year. The man in the group who was credited with the invention of CFCs was Thomas Midgley,Jr.
Mr. Midgley held many patents and did not die of cancer.
Yes, there was a time three-quarters of a century ago when household refrigerators were actually dangerous! Modern refrigerators, of course, have nothing to do with those dangers other than as a historical footnote.
The little history above shows where the basis of the tale actually is rooted in truth, but its outdated and now becomes an "old wive's tale.
BuckyTom: I know that you probably think I'm jumpin' on you, but I'm not. I understand that you were probably just repeating what you heard elsewhere. Lord knows I'm guilty of the same thing on many occasions! I am rather surprised that no-one questioned it. I guess thats what prompted me to butt in.
My apologies if I offended anyone.