The Conversation: Asthma Inhalers Contribute to Global Warming

Asthma Inhaler
Asthma Inhaler. By NIAID (Asthma Inhaler) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to The Conversation, people who use asthma inhalers release damaging amounts of greenhouse gasses.

Your asthma puffer is probably contributing to climate change, but there’s a better alternative

March 26, 2018 6.01am AEDT

Brett Montgomery.

Senior Lecturer in General Practice, University of Western Australia

I breathe all the way out. There’s a quiet puff of gas from my inhaler, and I breathe all the way in. I hold my breath for a few seconds and the medicine is where it needs to be: in my lungs.

Many readers with asthma or other lung disease will recognise this ritual. But I suspect few will connect it with climate change. Until recently, neither did I.

These medicines are available in various sorts of inhaler devices. The devices fall into two broad types: “metered dose inhalers” and “dry powder inhalers” of various shapes and sizes.

In metered dose inhalers, the medicine and a pressurised propellant liquid are mixed together in a little canister, and then sprayed out of the inhaler in a measured puff of fine mist. This is inhaled, often after passing through a “spacer” which allows more of the medicine to reach the lungs. While the medicine is absorbed by the body, the propellant, now a gas, is exhaled unchanged.

The one most often found in asthma metered dose inhalers, norflurane, is 1,430 times more potent than the best-known warming culprit, carbon dioxide. Another, apaflurane, is 3,220 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Such warming power explains why even the small amounts in an inhaler are significant. Globally, tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide equivalent are attributable annually to these inhaler gases.

A person using a preventer inhaler monthly, plus the odd reliever inhaler, could easily release the annual equivalent of a quarter of a ton of carbon dioxide — that’s like burning 100 litres of petrol.

If metered dose inhalers are a better choice for you, please don’t panic or quit your medicines. These gases probably won’t be the biggest contributor to your personal carbon footprint. Asthma control is really important, and these medicines work really well. But consider changing if it’s an option for you — when it comes to reducing our footprint, every little bit counts.

Read more:

As a lifelong asthmatic I’m familiar with different inhalers. I can tolerate the powder inhalers, but I know people who can’t – powder inhalers can irritate the airways. It would be unfortunate and harmful if this stretch of a climate warning develops into a movement to ban HFC propellent in asthma inhalers, or makes such inhalers more difficult to obtain or more expensive.

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Patrick MJD
March 26, 2018 2:08 am

I will wager that Al Gore’s arse, and/or, air travel contributes more. But unlike Al, these devices are life savers.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 26, 2018 5:14 am

the epa banned the only rescue inhaler years ago (primatene mist). it worked in seconds.
i looked for a chart of asthma deaths because i’m pretty sure there must be a significant increase as a result of that move. i have been unable to find any.
now they sell epinephrine ampules but nebulizers are bulky and not conveniently portable.
albuterol is not a rescue inhaler. it can take many minutes to produce noticeable effect.
so i believe the epa brought about some deaths by suffocation.

Reply to  gnomish
March 26, 2018 10:31 am

That is so outrageous. SMH.

Reply to  gnomish
March 26, 2018 10:51 am

What’s the explanation for Primatene Mist not being reformulated to use an allowed propellant such as one used in current asthma inhalers?

Reply to  gnomish
March 26, 2018 4:56 pm

You are quite correct. Primatene mist was a cheap and fantastic rescue inhaler. otc cost was approx 8 $. It’s main ingredient was epinephrine and is still the drug of choice for anaphylaxis world wide. Current rescue inhalers now cost approx 150.00$ and are no where near as effective as Primatene mist, WHICH SAVED MY LIFE MANY TIMES AS A CHILD ! Pulling it off the market for it’s so called effect on climate change was truly a crime against humanity. Whoever was responsible for that should hang. The real reason it is still off the shelves is because it was CHEAP and one did not need a prescription.

Mario Lento
Reply to  gnomish
March 26, 2018 5:17 pm

Yes I loved primatine mist. It’s what I used back in the late 1970s to start running to get my lungs in shape so that I no longer had shortness of breath. Today, when I visit Mexico, I stock up on Albuterol at any local drug store without need for prescription for about $5 per inhaler. It saves me from having to make a doctor appointment, pay a much larger co-pay, and resulting “who knows what” cost that my insurance must pay. Our laws add cost, and are dangerous! I am helping to reduce the costs by visiting Mexico.

Reply to  gnomish
March 26, 2018 5:42 pm

mr klipstein-
i was told that a new inhaler made with a different propellant would require new fda certification and testing.
for an unpatentable medication like racepinephrine that was a deal killer.
but the epa bans medicine to save the planet is the adult version of eating tide pods.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 26, 2018 8:14 am

Many so called environmentalists, want more people to die.

Reply to  MarkW
March 26, 2018 9:35 am

it seems environmentalists want *all people* to die, themselves excepted, of course…

John harmsworth
Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 26, 2018 8:34 am

Since Al Gore is 100% ass I’m pretty sure you’re right. Asthmatics have enough to deal with without any pressure from this idiot for their contribution to a non existent problem.

C. Paul Barreira
Reply to  John harmsworth
March 26, 2018 1:42 pm

He’s an academic. End of story.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
March 26, 2018 3:06 pm

Just when I think it cannot get any crazier…it does, and I can’t keep up. “The sky is falling” Chicken-Littles of the world are winning.

March 26, 2018 2:35 am

‘Pine conifers’ in a logpile, i.e. without true value.
Time for ad hom. Thy mother was contributing to when made you.

Reply to  Hugs
March 26, 2018 2:41 am

Another option, I think this is good in emergency like this.
Thy mother made a personal carbon footprint!

March 26, 2018 2:39 am

I’ll make a point of using my inhaler as fast as my insurance company will pay for refills.

John harmsworth
Reply to  David Middleton
March 26, 2018 8:36 am

Thank you! Warmer is better. Unfortunately, the Earth fights warming tooth and nail with greater force and ingenuity than we can apply to warm it up.

March 26, 2018 2:40 am

I’ve heard this excuse back in early 1990’s. It turned out to be the Swedish Astra [now AstraZeneca] greasing the doctors to switch from the competitors drugs to theirs. Now, the doctors here in Sweden seams to promote the flawed Novolizer system [powder], that require some suction force. That might be troublesome when in great need …

March 26, 2018 2:49 am

How dare asthmatic children pollute the air my supercharged car needs to run at peak performance.
I’m so very offended……..

Reply to  Jones
March 26, 2018 7:52 am

Don’t worry. The concept of a greenhouse gas was largely dreamed up anyhow. If indeed these gases did warm the air in any way, the resulting convection will carry the heat to altitude where it is last to space.
It is valid to say that no gas at any concentration can detectably warm the atmosphere because the water cycle convective heat engine ramps up with any warming and serves as a massive, global negative feedback mechanism, which is completely ignored by the warming alarmists.
Breath deeply and enjoy a good life.

March 26, 2018 2:58 am

I can tolerate the powder inhalers, but I know people who can’t – powder inhalers can irritate the airways.
I have tried a number of asthma drugs and those I didn’t tolerated (gen. asthma symptoms …) had one thing in common: powder containing glucose or lactose, even though I’m tolerant to those carb’s when in food.

March 26, 2018 3:21 am

UWA. I once held some respect for this university, I even attended it myself – however it’s fallen a long way in my estimation and having dealt with a large number of their medical GPs I’ve discovered many have chasms in their learning.
When they are prepared to read WA Health Department guidelines for diagnosis and treatments and observe them, I’ll be more inclined to listen to them and their opinions.

dodgy geezer
March 26, 2018 3:25 am

Actually, this piece should have made stronger arguments to discourage use of ANY inhaler.
The Greens have an unspoken requirement to dispose of billions of people in order to reach their ‘Sustainable Planet’ (though they don’t seam to understand that we can’t maintain the current standard of living if we do this.
Banning critical medicines would seem like a good Green way to start culling humanity…

Reply to  dodgy geezer
March 26, 2018 6:54 am

That was the first thing that came to my mind while reading the article. Take away inhalers that work and you almost immediately doom thousands to death! Those Greens can be very sly….

ivor ward
March 26, 2018 3:26 am

And here I was thinking that all these Global Warming gravy trainers flying around the world to 20 or 30 different Globull Warming Climate Conferences every year was a problem for the worlds climate when all along it was me struggling to stay alive with my Asthma meds. How could I have been so misguided .
I will hand them all in when the thought police hold their next weapons amnesty and die like the good little compliant prole that I aspire to become.

March 26, 2018 3:27 am

Didn’t they already ban one or more of the better inhaler propellants because it ’caused the Ozone Hole’? You know, the hole that’s probably been there the whole time and always will be.
One shouldn’t be surprised by how many people the Greens are willing to let die to ‘Save the Earth’.

Robert Cherba
Reply to  schitzree
March 26, 2018 7:37 am

Yes, we’ve already eliminated one very effective, cheap inhaler gas to save the ozone hole — although I can’t recall what it was. (It was also used in all kinds of spray cans in use at that time.)
The extreme greens would eliminate mankind (peoplekind for Trudeau) if they could. Since this is not popular with most of the people who send them money, they have to be satisfied with “allowing” us to die where they can justify it by saving the environment or some species or other — DDT, effective asthma inhalers, fuel to heat homes, etc.

Reply to  Robert Cherba
March 26, 2018 3:17 pm

I wish they would hurry up and try to eliminate mankind – I need the target practice to defend myself.

Reply to  schitzree
March 26, 2018 8:19 am

I thought that the only gas to be banned under the Montreal Protocols was CFC. Whether that was also the gas being used in inhalers I couldn’t say.
Prior to NASA changing the formula for the foam it applied to the external tanks due to the CFC ban, they had never had any problem with chunks of foam breaking off during launch.

John harmsworth
Reply to  MarkW
March 26, 2018 8:42 am

They also banned HCHC’s and Bromine compounds. The replacement gases for refrigerant’s were largely HFC’s. It was already known at the time we were phasing out the Chlorine refrigerants that the HFC’s had theoretically higher global warming potential. It was an expensive endeavour to switch from CFC and HCFC and now it will have to be done all over again to go from HFC’s unless this global warming nonsense dies out.

March 26, 2018 3:31 am

“It would be unfortunate and harmful if this stretch of a climate warning develops into a movement to ban HFC propellent in asthma inhalers, or makes such inhalers more difficult to obtain or more expensive.”
Already did. My $5 old generic CFC inhaler was replaced with a $20 (after copay) inhaler, and it’s not nearly as effective.
Color me skeptical, but I don’t think an occasional puff on an inhaler made a bit of difference to the ozone hole. It did however make a nice profit on new companies with patents on using the new gas propellants.

Reply to  kcrucible
March 26, 2018 8:19 am

There is no real world evidence that either CFCs or HFCs affect the ozone layer. It’s all from models.

Dave Walker
Reply to  kcrucible
March 26, 2018 10:53 am

The ban allowed Pharma to patent the reformulated medication and quadruple the price.

eddie willers
Reply to  Dave Walker
March 26, 2018 11:54 am

Yes. Mine went from $5 to $60. I hope the penguins appreciate my sacrifice.

March 26, 2018 3:32 am

Now we should worry about carbon footprint of healing drugs??? Well, just ban medicine altogether, then : dead people surely have lower carbon footprint.
These enviromons are crazy. If not crazy, they are paid as SasjaL pointed out

Reply to  paqyfelyc
March 26, 2018 3:48 am

well they were also on about anaesthetics being bad bad bad for the climate too, guess its back to a bullet to bite on when surgerys required..lets see the proponents go first;-)

Neil Jordan
Reply to  ozspeaksup
March 26, 2018 7:53 am

Sorry, no bullets to bite, thanks to the latest children’s crusade.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
March 26, 2018 8:20 am

You could use a branch, providing they can get written permission from the tree first.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
March 26, 2018 8:43 am

Or the time-tested practice of giving you copious amounts of strong drink, until you’re too drunk to care whether you are being cut into or not.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
March 26, 2018 8:45 am

Scratch that, yeast fermentation produces CO2, so I guess that’s out.

Phil Rae
March 26, 2018 3:43 am

Ha! Ha! Ha! Not even vaguely credible!
So, based on this nonsense, we have to assume an annual use of upwards of ~3000-7000 MT of these propellants in asthma inhalers to equate to “tens of millions of tons of CO2 per year”. Since the average inhaler contains about 5 grams of product and if we assume ALL that mass is propellant, that equates to 600 MILLION – 1.4 BILLION inhaler cartridges per year. Which means there must be an AWFUL lot of asthmatics in the world and they must ALL be using these specific types of inhaler! What absolute nonsense!!! These people are just ridiculous!

Reply to  Phil Rae
March 26, 2018 4:28 am

I wondered about this too. Besides this being a depressing (but unsurprising) low in alarmist misanthropy, it also highlights their complete inability to hold any sense of proportion. This is also unsurprising too I guess – the view held by censorious climate worriers that the external world is a tiny, fragile and perfect place threatened by imperfect people is a very accurate projection of their internal world.

Reply to  Phil Rae
March 26, 2018 8:21 am

I’m guessing that they believe HFCs are a stronger GHG than CO2.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Phil Rae
March 26, 2018 12:05 pm

To how may breaths of 4,000 ppm exhale do these inhalers’ output equate? Euthanasia may be more effective.

Reply to  Phil Rae
March 26, 2018 1:16 pm

Seems that a modern COPD inhaler using Norflurane will give about 200 doses service from its 8g. of propellant. That’s perhaps 0,04 g per patient per day. That’s 57g of carbon dioxide the exchange rate quoted by the paper. The average man exhales about 1150g of CO2 per day. Therefore the patient would only have to miss out 1 breath in every 20 in order to reduce his carbon footprint to that of a non-asthmatic. Or maybe sit down a little longer instead of doing the housework.
Also of note – unlike CFC propellants which they replaced, the modern CFC-free propellants are both pharmacologically and anaesthetically active, therefore probably less safe than the former, although little work seems to have been done on this. As well as being seriously more expensive. Strange world we live in.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Phil Rae
March 26, 2018 3:57 pm

Thanks for breaking the ice on this one. CO2 is emitted in Gigaton quantities. Could there possibly be a megaton of these propellants emitted every year? I would have a hard time imagining that it is more than a kiloton.
This is just much ado about infinitesimal quantities.

March 26, 2018 3:52 am

It seems that Brett Montgomery has been infected by the CO2 virus. He needs a bottle of WUWT Tonic which should put him right; so he can get on with the job he is supposed to be doing.
He should also be advised to lay off the media snake oil as research has shown that it has a depletary effect on the logical synapses. However, this can be difficult; as it comes in many guises and can be inserted without your knowledge into many innocent pronouncements.
I wish him well for this is a serious viral pandemic.

March 26, 2018 4:05 am

I breathe all the way out. There’s a quiet puff of gas from my lighter, then a bubbling sound as I breathe all the way in. I hold my breath for a few seconds and the medicine is where it needs to be: in my lungs.
Many readers who smoke cannabis will recognize this ritual. But I suspect few will connect it with climate change. Until I got enlightened by the “academic rigour” at The Conversation, neither did I.

March 26, 2018 4:12 am

The article claims that tetraflourethane is “…1,430 times more potent than the best-known warming culprit, carbon dioxide.” The source of this conclusion would be interesting. TFE has two prominent absorption peaks, one at about 1800 wave number and a second at about 1200 wave number but they are very very narrow. How this makes it 1,430 times worse than CO2 is unclear.

Reply to  DHR
March 26, 2018 5:12 am

They have the multiplier wrong. It is actually 1438.4652974 worse than CO2. They really need to get their facts straight.

John harmsworth
Reply to  rbabcock
March 26, 2018 8:47 am

Can you please convert that to degrees of CATASTROPHIC WARMING? A good Warmist would do that for us. Probably about 1-2000 C I imagine.

Rhoda R
Reply to  DHR
March 26, 2018 5:39 am

Nor has CO2 been demonstrated to be a global ‘warming’ culprit.

March 26, 2018 4:21 am

Also, I thought that the “…best known warming culprit…” is water vapor, not carbon dioxide. Perhaps the writer of the article really means that carbon dioxide is the most discussed warming culprit.

John harmsworth
Reply to  DHR
March 26, 2018 8:48 am

I vote for the Sun.

Doug Huffman
March 26, 2018 4:28 am

There is little that will make me avoid #FakeNews more quickly than a The Conversation byline.
Narration explanation is the witch doctors tool, but wait, I haven’t finished! Questions will be entertained after the lie is complete and told again.
E. T. Jaynes called it ad-hockery

Jim Barker
March 26, 2018 4:28 am

Just wondering about the contribution of BS. Could it be worse than we thought?

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
March 26, 2018 4:33 am

You can’t take down Trump. So now…pick on asthmatics. Great. Just bloody great.

March 26, 2018 5:08 am

I imagine there are some asthma sufferers who, being upset by the revelation they are increasing their carbon footprint in this way, have such an increased anxiety that they are quickly reaching for their inhalers.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 26, 2018 5:14 am

This is outrageous. I used to suffer very badly with asthma and cannot believe that anyone with a sense of decency and morality would complain that a medicine which has transformed the lives of asthmatics could be targeted in such a trivial way. I bridged the period when these little vapour devices first came into use and I can assure you they were absolutely transformative when compared with the almost useless drugs that were in use before.
The fact that some contributors with knowledge about it are suggesting this might be about making people switch to more expensive, but possibly less remedial, inhalers makes the whole thing obscene.
Incidentally, I worry when I see David Middleton threatening to take extra gulps because although I know he is making a point rather than expressing a serious intention, these are powerful drugs and some people do seem to become reliant on taking many doses in one go. Probably not a good thing to increase dependency any more than strictly necessary and illustrative of how awful asthma can be.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
March 26, 2018 12:53 pm

A number of years ago, I came to realize that the drug companies are only interested in symptom suppressors, as real cures don’t generate money. Asthma med’s along with lots of other types don’t cure, even though I suspect the knowledge has been available for a while.

Hot under the collar
March 26, 2018 5:29 am

“…..the best-known warming culprit, carbon dioxide”. Eye roll, yawn.
Obviously they should stop exhaling immediately!
It’s so pathetic that even ridicule is insufficient for these people.

March 26, 2018 5:30 am

With Chronic COPD – need both types of inhalers daily. Reduce my carbon footprint?
Thanks a lot Brett, just the same. I’ll give up my inhaler when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.
Useless Eater

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Tim
March 26, 2018 10:17 am

It is all so phony — a non problem– Like a person spitting in the ocean. Shows the illogical mean spirits of the leftist loonies. One international flight of a jet airliner would be worse than all the asthma inhalers in the world.

Hot under the collar
March 26, 2018 5:42 am

Obviously nobody informed Bill Clinton because he didn’t inhale!
No doubt this article will be published by the Guardian and BBC then cited in the next IPCC report as evidence of robust peer reviewed research.

March 26, 2018 5:46 am

Why do Alarmists hate people so much? An Asthma attack is a deadly event. Those inhalers are live saving devices. And guess what? The medicine is ingested; it isn’t going into the atmosphere.
The old inhalers (the inhalers outlawed by international law) allegedly destroyed the Ozone Layer. Interesting that Big Pharma lobbied to remove them. One could buy those inhalers for $25 plus the medicine. They were effective and life saving. We’re going backwards.

March 26, 2018 5:46 am

Where are the former EPA execs and political agents now? They used asthma as a health science basis for reshaping the American economy in their own image without regard to cost.

Bruce Cobb
March 26, 2018 5:50 am

These carbonastrophists deserve an award; for biggest a-holes of the planet.

March 26, 2018 5:51 am

Yep, what we used to sell for $10 is now $60 or up up up with the newer ones.

March 26, 2018 6:07 am

I am a veterinarian and due to the cost increase and the change to no propellant inhalers I have patients that will either die or be euthanized due to this.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Eric
March 26, 2018 12:10 pm

Honest, I was using wild satire in the above ‘euthanasia’ comment! I had no idea that the cited scheme could impact innocent animals.

March 26, 2018 6:09 am

While I enjoy good health, I’m very aware that others to do not unless they have some small portable aid with them. So now I”m thinking about those people I see dragging oxygen carts with them. They MUST be contributing to global warming by taking O2 out of the air and putting it in a tank for personal use! What an abomination! /sarc
What’s next? Don’t put sugar on your cereal, because sugar is a carbohydrate and eating carbohydrates will give you a massive attack of flatulence????
Do these people have nothing better to do than use their pea-sized brains to find fault with everything?
Sorry, mods, just getting wigged over the sheer stupidity of this article’s author’s remarks. Keep posting this stuff. It gives me an excuse to go make a batch of cookies with my gas-fired oven. 🙂

John harmsworth
Reply to  Sara
March 26, 2018 8:55 am

On the same theme it seems to me that the only rational thing to do is to cut down those notorious harbourers of CO2, trees, and blast them off into space. We need to rid ourselves of all the carbon we can in any way before it gets us!
I think the trees are watching me! There’s one outside my window and its been there for ages! All that carbon! Just sitting there watching me!

Peter Morris
March 26, 2018 6:23 am

Wait. This idiot wants people to give up their proven, WORKING technology because they *might* possibly be contributing the equivalent of two tanks of gasoline (at least for a car like mine) PER YEAR?
If I were asthmatic I’d tell this windbag to get bent.

March 26, 2018 6:25 am

All I know about asthma is when my wife came home from the docs with our first son under one to announce he was asthmatic and would need medication. He’d been coughing ,wheezing and sneezing with runny noses for some time which I’d put down to going off the breast and into childcare as mum went back relief teaching. She was adamant the doc was right but I called BS for the aforesaid reasoning. He’s a strapping 35 year old electrician that’s just retired from football but loves his surfing and never had anymore asthma in his life. That’s all I know about asthma.

Jean Parisot
March 26, 2018 6:44 am

If AGW clown show ever found out how much perfluorocarbon tracers I’ve released over the last 20 years, they would have a hitman looking for me.

Jean Parisot
March 26, 2018 6:48 am

“The old inhalers (the inhalers outlawed by international law) allegedly destroyed the Ozone Layer. Interesting that Big Pharma lobbied to remove them. One could buy those inhalers for $25 plus the medicine. They were effective and life saving. We’re going backwards.”
Wasn’t it some Senator’s daughter …

March 26, 2018 6:51 am

Which got me thinking as a baby boomer schooled in the 50s and 60s (and some into early 70s) I never heard of anyone being asthmatic or allergic to anything but my how times have changed. Presumably that’s all down to our new friend CO2 as well nowadays?
What happened to asthmatics in those days pre inhalers presumably. Did they all perish and didn’t make it to school?

Reply to  observa
March 26, 2018 8:55 am

Presumably the whooping cough or polio got to them first.

John harmsworth
Reply to  observa
March 26, 2018 8:58 am

Apparently, kids who grow up with dogs are much less likely to develop asthma. Something to do with immune system priming I think. LIkewise they now suggest that kids be exposed to peanuts at an early age to reduce the likelihood of allergies later on.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  observa
March 26, 2018 10:27 am

observa. A lot of pre- albuterol inhalers patients used very rough and dangerous medicines. Amenophlen, epinephrine injections and inhalation. Many suffered all their lives before modern inhalers came along. And yes, some young people outgrow asthma but millions more don’t. It is a dangerous and progressive disease.

Bill Murphy
March 26, 2018 6:56 am

…the annual equivalent of a quarter of a ton of carbon dioxide — that’s like burning 100 litres of petrol.

100 litres! WOW! That is the equivalent of less than 4 minutes flight time for a G4 private jet. So 1 climate warrior’s round trip to Paris in a G4 has the GHG footprint of about 300 asthmatics for an entire year. Better euthanize the asthmatics. It would be terrible to keep Al and Leo at home when they need to be out saving the world.

March 26, 2018 7:03 am

The inhaler shown is no longer used by the VA, and any civilian hospital I have been in.

March 26, 2018 7:04 am

…and hasn’t been used for several years.

Reply to  Roy Denio
March 26, 2018 7:29 am

Mine was used just this morning! It not only feels good to breathe freely, I can take heart that I am contributing, in some infinitesimally small way, to the beneficial warming of the planet.

March 26, 2018 7:19 am

This guy lies. I remember bad asthma since at least 1946. I take powder inhalers 2 puffs twice a day, also singular and still need Ventolin many days and intact just used some. They say the powder inhalers can work as rescue med. But when I do that the fungal infection in my mouth, which I have constantly, flares up and I can’t eat.

John harmsworth
Reply to  Dawit
March 26, 2018 9:00 am

Use whatever works best for you, buddy. The world will get along just fine.

Reply to  Dawit
March 26, 2018 1:17 pm

If you have not heard it before, you can reduce the problems with fungal infection by leaning your head back when inhaling your medicine. Less will stuck in the throat then. A mouth wash, including gurgeling, with plain water directly afterwards reduces too.

tom s
March 26, 2018 7:33 am


March 26, 2018 7:40 am

Of course Americans died when they banned primatene mist. Anytime you remove the most effective life-saving drug from the market it will cost many lives. You don’t need your doctor’s dogmatic opinion to have your own science-based rational one. I’ve had severe asthma since early childhood and you can rest assured Primatene Mist saved my life many times. In fact I would be rushed to the hospital as a child to get injectable medication that helped a lot. I had both primatene mist and albuterol at home, as an adult but the albuterol is far less effective. Within a week of running out of primatene mist, due to the ban, I was collapsing on my neighbor’s porch after crawling 250 through snow. It was so bad I could not speak so I did not try the phone. After being prescribed $500 worth of medication and a $200 doctor visit things got worse. He made the claim that primatene mist was harming people and I pointed out to him that I had done the medical research and he was a liar. If you do the research you’ll come to the same conclusion I have. It wasn’t about medicine it was about politics and doctors that are willing to harm their patients for politics and they should not be practicing medicine in any country. I watch my friends give their children Albuterol and their asthma attack continues or maybe improves 5 or 10%. Then when doctors realized they weren’t working they prescribed 50 million tubes they call spacers which coats the spacer walls with medication instead of your lungs. Brilliant. But when they realized the spacers would not improve a minimally effective inhaler those went by the wayside real quick-didn’t they. If It is more important to doctors to have an incestuous relationship with politicians and pharmaceutical reps, than their patients, then so be it. Just quit being a coward and admit it. Anytime a doctor or group of doctors are willing to debate this subject I have a location and a microphone and I’m willing to pay for it. But just so we’re clear I am a polemicist and I will verbally brutalize you with medical facts and torment your “God complex” with moral and ethics. I may not write well but I have an absolutely devastating dagger tipped tongue. 100 of my friends laughing hysterically while Doctors Flee to their car in humiliation would be absolutely fantastic payback for what they’ve done to innocent people-innocent children.

Steve Case
March 26, 2018 7:42 am

The one most often found in asthma metered dose inhalers, norflurane, is 1,430 times more potent than the best-known warming culprit, carbon dioxide. Another, apaflurane, is 3,220 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

This B.S. comes from the IPCC’s assessment reports:
IPCC AR5 Chapter 8
Scroll down to page 710 Paragraph The Global Warming Potential Concept (GWP).
It’s in there with my favorite whipping boy, methane, which is eleventy-seven times more potent than carbon dioxide. Authors, like Brett Montgomery who wrote this crap, never tell us how much the release of whatever chemical that they are concerned about, business as usual, will run-up global temperatures. Reason number one that they don’t tell us is that they don’t know. Even if they read the section in the IPCC report where that number comes from they still wouldn’t know. They would have to run through the math in IPCC’s (GWP) section to find out, because the IPCC has chosen not to report the actual temperature rise that, business as usual, the various compounds listed would produce.
The failure of the IPCC to highlight those Business as Usual (GWP) temperature results should be in any list of the top reasons why the IPCC reports should be regarded as essentially propaganda.

John harmsworth
Reply to  Steve Case
March 26, 2018 9:13 am

Methane is a great one. They utterly ignore the fact that methane can be seen bubbling up constantly in virtually any lake in the world. Meanwhile, the production of commercial natural gas is very efficient with minimal leakage and results in burning which transforms it to CO2 and water.
A complete non-problem within the larger non-problem of non-existent global warming.

Steve Case
Reply to  John harmsworth
March 26, 2018 9:48 am

John harmsworth March 26, 2018 at 9:13 am
Methane is a great one. …

Thanks for the reply – apparently I lied the IPCC in a roundabout way does tell you how much methane will run up temperatures. Here’s where:
Chapter 8 IPCC AR5
scroll down to page 720 to find figure 8.33:
You will notice that the temperatures are in (mK). I read that as 0.001K. So from their chart I come up with the following values for methane:

Twenty Year Impact CH4 in (mk)
0.003 … Waste/Landfill
0.001 … Biomass Burning
0.000 …. Waste Burning
0.002 … Agriculture
0.005 … Animal Husbandry
0.000 … Household fuels
0.000 … Shipping
0.000 … Non-Road
0.000 … Road
0.000 … Aviation
0.000 … Industry
0.001 … Biofuel
0.006 … Energy
0.018 … Total

That rounds off nicely to 0.02 K So it looks like 86 times more powerful than CO2 isn’t so scary after all.
*That’s supposed to be ten to the minus three Kelvin

Reply to  Steve Case
March 26, 2018 11:51 am

Re: methane – It is a derivative of animal digestion of foods of all kinds, and is a very useful gas because it contains nitrogen, which plants like, among other molecules. The problem with these pompous pontificators is that they forget that every time they eat something, they produce mass quantities of methane, which is also a flammable gas.
If only there were some way to…. well, you get the drift. 🙂

Reply to  Sara
March 26, 2018 12:40 pm

I thought methane was CH4?

Reply to  Sara
March 27, 2018 8:47 am

Sara, methane does not contain nitrogen, MarkW is right.

Neil Jordan
March 26, 2018 7:50 am

How ironic. This WUWT page opened up with a header advertisement for a homeopathic respirator. That is entirely consistent with the “best known warming culprit” being the homeopathic control constituent for weather, and by averaging over a number of years, climate.

March 26, 2018 7:52 am

From the link is this bogus claim:
“The one most often found in asthma metered dose inhalers, norflurane, is 1,430 times more potent than the best-known warming culprit, carbon dioxide. Another, apaflurane, is 3,220 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Such warming power explains why even the small amounts in an inhaler are significant. Globally, tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide equivalent are attributable annually to these inhaler gases.”
Suuure, if you can SPECTRALLY show the impact, but you didn’t try just the usual unverified potency claims.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
March 27, 2018 9:10 am

Of course, so called “warming potentials” or “radiative forcing” are in no way connected with the spectral properties of molecules. IPCC gives computational formulas for different gases including empirical coefficients. There is no reason to think it scientific truth.

michael hart
March 26, 2018 8:04 am

Yawn. Such Hydrofluorocarbons are designed so that they degraded by UV/O2/Ozone in the atmosphere.
It’s just a sign that they have nothing to say or write about at “The Conversation.” (Their title itself is a giveaway. A bit like any country that has “democratic” in its title, you know that it is almost certainly the opposite.)

Reply to  michael hart
March 26, 2018 9:09 am

The (One-Sided) Conversation

March 26, 2018 8:24 am

inhalers used to be about $20. now after environmental concerns they are $200.
but it is all good. the $20 inhalers worked. the $200 inhalers not so well.

Nick Werner
March 26, 2018 8:28 am

“A person using a preventer inhaler monthly, plus the odd reliever inhaler, could easily release the annual equivalent of a quarter of a ton of carbon dioxide…”
A person that never uses an inhaler could easily release the annual equivalent of a half of a ton of carbon dioxide. But don’t anybody tell them… it’s worse than they thought!

Reply to  Nick Werner
March 26, 2018 11:54 am

Well, yes, Nick, but when you eat beans or cabbage, it’s also true that people frequently release other gases into the atmosphere. Not sure what my personal signature of methane is, but I can make a pot of 16-bean soup last for at least a week.

Reply to  Sara
March 26, 2018 12:40 pm

Inside the body or outside?

March 26, 2018 9:43 am

There is nothing that shameless musanthropic climate extremists won’t misrepesent to advance their hateful ideology.
How long do the inhaler gasses linger in the open air?…
to ask just one logical question.
100 lters of gas is less than 2 tanks of a typical car per year.
Even if one grants the clinate is sensitive, 2 tsks is trivial compared to saving the kives of asthma sufferers.
This lstest from the (non)conversation judt shows how perverse climate extremism is.

Joel Snider
March 26, 2018 9:55 am

Remember, we must not allow anything that improves the human condition in any way.

March 26, 2018 10:01 am

I used to work for a government lab. One of my tools was a mass spectrometer running in the negative-chemical ionization mode. I used sulfur hexafluoride to check for leaks (a MS needs a high vaccuum to perform well). SF6 is also a very potent greenhouse gas, and I had to report usage, even though I didn’t use that much.

Joe Armstrong
March 26, 2018 10:12 am

I’ll bet the emissions/potency quoted is “mouse nuts” in the big scheme of things.

Gary Pearse
March 26, 2018 10:43 am

These zealots are unbelievable. Don’t pee in the ocean to save the reef! The small percentage using these devices are drowned out by the CO2 breathed out by every person and animal. A sense of proportion, less angst and a sense of humor would reduce the need for these devices themselves.

March 26, 2018 10:49 am

in 2009 cfc based inhapers were banned and I know many had issues with inhalers after that.
others (hfa based. etc) didn’t work as well and cost more.
just another try to kill people.

J Mac
March 26, 2018 11:41 am

Oh Dear….
Next, these gas bags will tell us ‘off-gassing hemorrhoid cream’ is a 1000X more potent ‘green house gas’ than methane. And all of those yeasty beasties making our ethyl alcohol? Oh Dear Gaia, NO! /s
You really have to admire the effectiveness of the socialist AGW indoctrination, on their useful tools like Brett Montgomery!

March 26, 2018 1:41 pm

My inhaler probably realise about 1% of a lungful and i use it at most 3 times a day, now I take a breath every 8 seconds, so that’s 10,800 breaths a day of which about 10% will exhale CO2.
so that about a thousand lungfuls of CO2 compared to 3% of a lungful of propellant. ok if “The one most often found in asthma metered dose inhalers, norflurane, is 1,430 times more potent than the best-known warming culprit, carbon dioxide. Another, apaflurane, is 3,220 times more potent than carbon dioxide.” means the gas is 3300 times more potent, then that’s 3300 x 3% = 100 lungfuls of CO2 equivalent.
The answer is obviously to stop exercising – Cyclists and joggers are damaging the environment far more and as for Olympic class athletes – well they should be shot of course.

March 26, 2018 1:49 pm

If you are a sufferer, you may wish to try a probiotic treatment. It is not hard to make your own water based probiotic spray or wash. I went from skeptic to believer, after all other treatments had failed over a period of 40+ years. There is a certain resistance to spaying live bacteria into your airways.
The key may be to use a large enough dose/strains that you get an immune response similar to a mild cold/flu on the initial treatment. (20 billion cfu/10 strains) After that, daily/frequent maintenance leads to symptomatic improvement.

Reply to  ferdberple
March 26, 2018 1:55 pm
Reduce eosinophilic inflammation in the airway
Perhaps the most intriguing concept which, if successful, could have a big impact on asthma as well. This approach may include systemic probiotics influencing the gut-lung axis (Marsland et al., 2015). The gut-lung axis is poorly understood, but suggests that there is a considerable cross talk between the gut and the airway through the immune system. …

March 26, 2018 2:04 pm

We need to ban these high-capacity, military-style, semi-automatic assault inhalers.

james fosser
March 26, 2018 2:56 pm

I am very wary of pharmaceutical companies and their machinations. Here in Australia some big name ones have been advertising in supermarkets since Xmas for people to get their flu vaccinations from then. The Medical Association of Australia have informed the public not to get vacs until at least the end of April because they are maximally useful for just three months then taper off and the flu season usually only gets underway around June or slightly earlier and peaks in August (The vaccination takes about two weeks in the body before it kicks in).

March 26, 2018 3:36 pm

The idea here is that the proplent used in asthma inhalers might enhance the Earth’s radaint greenhouse gases caused by trace gases in the Earth’s atmosphere with LWIR absorption bands. The big porblem with this is that the radaint greenhouse effect has not been observed in a real greenhouse, in the Earth’s atmosphere or anywhere else in the solar system. The radiant greenhouse if fiction hence asthma inhaler proplent’s increaseing global warming is fiction as well.

Beth Burdett
March 26, 2018 5:02 pm

Eric: From using inhalers multiple times a day I now use the reliever once or twice a year. I do not know where my inhaler is, it is used so little. I did the Buteyko breathing course in 1992 and have never looked back. Cannot recommend it enough.

March 26, 2018 5:49 pm

There is no area of public safety, health or welfare that the Warmistas do not wish to invade and wreck for all others, with no conceivable benefit coming in return on the Climate Front.

March 27, 2018 6:27 pm

There’s just so much disingenuousness in this. Not completing the comparison angle. I hear tens-of-millions of tons of carbondioxide and equivalent emitted by the propellant in evaporating from the dusts and aerosols that the puffer puffs. And I hear 2,220 and 3,200 of something like that ones mind naturally asks, what is the real volume? Nor in the same vein, is there a tie back to questioning or stating the fraction of this, compared to all emissions?
Because while tens of millions of whatever — I’ll take it as this — sounds like a big enchilada, is it more than a flea on a fly really? Well maybe that’s too small, but there must needs be a point where one might reasonably dismiss the discovery without abundant prejudice. Just having a “that’s ridiculous’ reaction is enough. So then compared to scores of billions, perhap tens of millions isn’t exactly suiting up. One part or less in a thousand? Mmmm… one might reasonably dismiss.

April 3, 2018 2:43 pm

Back to 2011, the ban on CFC inhalers.
Ban inhalers to save the environment? FDA and EPA gone mad.
Sep 22 2011 FDA: Over-the-counter asthma inhalers containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) will no longer be made or sold after Dec. 31, 2011
Users of Primatene Mist will need a prescription product to treat their asthma. Asthma accounts for one-quarter of all emergency room visits in the U.S. each year, with 2 million emergency room visits. Each day 11 Americans die from asthma. There are more than 4,000 deaths due to asthma each year, many of which are avoidable with proper treatment like over-the-counter asthma inhalers.
The reason for their phase out is U.S. in complying to a U.N. mandate to phase out all CFC’s since they burn up the ozone layer over Antarctica, and to a lesser degree over the North Pole.
During the heydays of CFC production we produced about one megaton annually of all types of CFC combined. This led to an increase in CFC of about 25 parts per trillion in the atmosphere per year. After 1994 the CFC’s were phased out and replaced with HCFC’s. The total amount of CFC’s in the air is now decreasing by about 1 percent per year.
A quick calculation shows that over the counter inhalers release maybe 100 tons of CFC’s per year. This would increase the level in the atmosphere by 0.002 parts per trillion per year. Since CFC’s now are decreasing by 20 parte per trillion /year it would speed up the decrease by 1/10000.
So this banning of CFC inhalers will decrease the time to return to previous levels from 100 years to 99 years and 361 days. And for this we are banning $10 inhalers and forcing asthma sufferers to use prescription devices at more than 40 dollars, and increase the number of emergency room visits, and even asthma related deaths. For four days in a hundred years?
In the meantime the Ozone hole is closing again by itself, maybe due to actions already taken.

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