• SkillCat Team

Section 608 Overview

Updated: 7 days ago

EPA 608 Core Chapter 8 (Take full course for free)


In this module, we will look at the purpose of Section 608 and determine which refrigerants it regulates. Skip to quiz!


1. Purpose


Section 608 includes provisions to protect the ozone layer.

Recall that ozone is a gas found in the Earth’s atmosphere. The highest concentration of ozone is found in the ozone layer. Ozone performs the essential task of blocking out harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.


As we discussed in the Ozone module, when chlorine-containing refrigerants are released into the atmosphere, they destroy the ozone layer. This results in increased risk of skin cancer, among other threats to human, animal, and plant life.


Section 608 focuses on regulating refrigerant chemicals that contain chlorine. These are the most harmful to the ozone layer.


2. Affected Refrigerants


So which specific refrigerants are covered under Section 608?


Recall that the refrigerants most harmful to the ozone layer are:

- CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons

Examples: R-11 and R-12

- HCFCs, or hydrochlorofluorocarbons

Example: R-22


Section 608 refrigerant management requirements apply to all CFCs, HCFCs, and their substitutes.

This includes HFC refrigerants, which were developed as an alternative to CFCs and HCFCs. HFCs do not destroy ozone, but they do contribute to global warming. This is why HFCs are also subject to Section 608 regulations.


Section 608 regulations apply to all appliances that contain ozone depleting refrigerants.


These appliances include:

- Freezers

- Air conditioning equipment

- Commercial refrigeration equipment

All substances contained in these appliances are considered refrigerants, since they are used for cooling purposes.


3. Excluded Refrigerants


If a refrigerant is not a CFC, HCFC, or HFC, then the Section 608 regulations we will discuss in the next module does not apply to them.

For example, this would be the natural refrigerants that we discussed in the Venting Prohibition module.


Section 608 regulations on refrigerant management do not apply to natural refrigerants such as:

- Carbon Dioxide

- Nitrogen, and water

- Water

These natural refrigerants are not harmful to the ozone layer.


We will discuss the specific management requirements of the affected refrigerants in the next module. But note that these requirements we will discuss do not apply to natural refrigerants. If you are interested to know more, see 40 CFR § 82.154 for a list of complete exemptions.


4. Certification


Section 608 certification is necessary for any technician who services a part that comes into contact with affected refrigerants.

For example, if a technician is replacing a system component with R-22, they need Section 608 certification. This is because you would need to first recover the refrigerant to prevent it from illegally venting. And any handling of ozone depleting refrigerants and their substitutes requires Section 608 certification.


To summarize, you would need Section 608 certification for the following services:

- Recovering refrigerant

- Replacing system component, and

- Any activity that violates the refrigerant circuit.


The refrigerant circuit is the flow of refrigerant in the system. If your service interrupts the flow of refrigerant in any way, you need Section 608 certification. If you are not coming into contact with refrigerant and not altering the refrigerant circuit, then you don’t need certification.


An example of a service that does not violate the refrigerant circuit would be replacing an external electrical circuit. External circuits do not touch refrigerant inside the coils where refrigerant is, so you would not need certification.


5. Conclusion


Section 608 regulates the use of refrigerant chemicals that contain chlorine to prevent ozone depletion. The regulatory requirements apply to CFC, HCFC, and HFC refrigerants and to equipment that contain these refrigerants.


In the next module, we’ll take a look at the specific requirements that we have to follow for these refrigerants.


Question #1: Which of the following is a CFC? (Choose all that apply)

  1. R-11

  2. R-12

  3. R-20

  4. R-22

Scroll down for the answer...











R-11 and R-12 are both CFCs.


Question #2: Which of the following is an HCFC? (Choose all that apply)

  1. R-11

  2. R-12

  3. R-20

  4. R-22

Scroll down for the answer...











From this list, only R-22 is an HCFC. It is the HCFC refrigerant we see most commonly in existing systems today.


Question #3: Which of the following do Section 608 regulations apply to? (Choose all that apply)

  1. CFCs

  2. HCFCs

  3. HFCs

  4. All refrigerants

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Section 608 regulations apply to ozone depleting substances and their substitutes. CFCs and HCFCs are ozone depleting substances, and HFC is their substitute.


Question #4: What appliances do Section 608 regulations apply to?

  1. Freezers

  2. Desiccant dehumidifiers

  3. Both (1) and (2)

  4. None of these

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Freezers can contain ozone depleting refrigerants, so they are covered by Section 608. Desiccant dehumidifiers work by absorbing moisture from the air to provide cooling. They do not contain refrigerant.


Question #5: What other appliances do Section 608 regulations apply to?

  1. Commercial refrigeration equipment

  2. Air conditioning equipment

  3. Both (1) and (2)

  4. None of these

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Both (1) and (2) can contain ozone depleting substances. Section 608 regulations apply to equipment that contain any ozone depleting refrigerant or its substitute.


Question #6: Which of the following are excluded from Section 608 refrigerant management requirements? (Select all that apply)

  1. Carbon dioxide

  2. HFCs

  3. Water

  4. Nitrogen

Scroll down for the answer...











(1) , (3), and (4) are all natural refrigerants and do not destroy the ozone layer. They are not subject to Section 608 regulations on refrigerant management. HFC, however, is subject to those regulations.


Question #7: Equipment that uses nitrogen as a refrigerant is not subject to Section 608 requirements.

  1. True

  2. False

Scroll down for the answer...











Equipment that uses natural refrigerants is not subject to Section 608 requirements. Only equipment that contains ozone depleting refrigerants (and their substitutes) is subject to Section 608 requirements.

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