Is halon illegal?
It is well known that halon is an ozone depleting flourocarbon gas. It is if fact 3 to 10 times worse than other cfc's. As of this writing halon is not illegal. Fire equipment dealers in the state of Florida that are equipped with halon reclaiming pumps and allowed by the state can still recycle halon and refill certain agent cylinders. The fact that halon is no longer manufactured (see: Montreal Protocol On Substances That Reduce The Ozone Layer) makes it harder to obtain- you don't just call up the manufacturer, it involves dealing with people who happen to have a cylinder with halon they are lookin to sell. Some companies have sprung up that offer halon for sale. It is all considered "recycled" because it has been pumped into a cylinder at least once in most cases, it is not "virgin" halon direct from the manufacturer. Halon is now being substituted with other "clean" agents such as FM-200 and FE-241, both are still considered "halogenated agents". The European Community (EU) has passed resolutions resulting from the Kyoto Protocol- EC Resolution 2037/2000- that bans refilling existing systems with new halons, effective October 1, 2000. There will be no filling of halon cylinders after Dec. 31, 2002 and decommissioning of halon systems before Dec. 31, 2003. (I may be updating this soon...stay tuned!) This may be a foretelling of what is in store for the future use of halon in in the United States. The "handwriting is on the wall" as far as halon is concerned and it is only a matter of time before it's use as a fire suppressant is eliminated in all but military applications altogether. It would be prudent to plan future system installations with one of the alternatives and in the event your present halon system needs major work or expensive recharge.