A change in asthma inhalers could potentially help the environment

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Research has shown that sufferers of asthma could do their part on saving the environment and cutting their carbon footprint by switching to ‘greener’ inhalers.

Medical experts at British Medical Journal Open have recently come out to say that changing inhalers could have as big an environmental impact as becoming a vegetarian or an avid recycler.

A cautious change

Many other experts have come out to endorse the research but have told patients that they must first check with their doctor before switching to greener inhalers.

Jessica Kirby, Head of Health Advice at Asthma UK warned: “Switching to a different type of inhaler can be complicated for people with asthma, as it involves learning a new inhaler technique.

“So it should only be done with support from a GP or asthma nurse. Taking inhalers properly is essential to get the medicine you need and reduce the chance of side effects.”

Masses amounts of change in pumps needed

This comes as massive news for many in the UK as there are more than five million people with asthma and in 2017 a whopping 50 million inhalers were prescribed.

A large majority of these inhalers were the exact type of inhaler which contained hydrofluoroalkane, the greenhouse gas in inhalers which affects the environment.

Hydrofluoroalkane which is used to squirt the medicine out of the inhaler is said to account for four percent of the NHS greenhouse gas emissions and if reduced individuals could save 150kg and 400kg (63 stone) of carbon dioxide a year.

‘Green’ asthma pumps will massively cut carbon footprint

With so much carbon dioxide being saved researchers have said individuals could be making such an impact as cutting meat from their diet.

Despite the sense of urgency from this research and with recent events such as the environmental protest, ‘extension rebellion’ creating a more hostile feeling around environmental issues, asthma sufferers have been told not make any drastic changes.

 Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said “People who need to use metered dose inhalers should absolutely continue to do so – but if you have the choice of a green option, do think about the environment. Cutting carbon emissions is good news for everyone, especially those with respiratory conditions.”

For more information surrounding asthma and switching to eco-friendly inhalers visit the Asthma UK website.

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