Two of my good friends have children who are asthmatic. In fact, one of them nearly lost her daughter, who had a dreadful asthmatic attack due to inhaling post-wildfire particulates.  The child would have died without her inhaler.

However, green justice warriors have decided that the luxury of being able to breathe pales in comparison to saving the planet from minuscule amounts of greenhouse gases.

According to a new study published in BMJ Open, the familiar lightweight, pocket-sized aerosolized inhalers that make breathing easier for so many of the 235 million people worldwide who suffer from asthma may be choking the planet on a powerful greenhouse gas they release in the process.

The study, led by Dr. Alexander JK Wilkinson, a respiratory specialist with Britain’s National Health Service, focused on the 4.67 million people diagnosed with asthma in the United Kingdom, but it has implications for treatment worldwide, including in the U.S., where 22.6 million people (6.1 million of them children) are afflicted with the condition. The researcher compared the greenhouse gas emissions of aerosol pumps—known as metered dose inhalers (MDI)—with dry powder inhalers (DPI), which are shaped something like a hockey puck and are activated simply by inhaling. The two weren’t even close.

The supposed “experts” calculate that metered-dose inhalers account for nearly 4% of greenhouse gas emissions for the British National Health Services. Of course, the “experts” don’t mention water vapor is the most prevalent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Perhaps asthmatics should give up steam treatments to ease their breathing?

The solution is to encourage patients to replace their “bad” metered-dose inhaler with a dry powder version. It’s almost as good as going vegan!

And at the individual level, each metered-dose inhaler replaced by a dry powder inhaler could save the equivalent of between 150kg and 400kg (63 stone) of carbon dioxide a year – similar to the carbon footprint reduction of cutting meat from your diet.

Lead researcher Dr Alex Wilkinson said: “The gases within these canisters are such powerful greenhouse gases that they can contribute significantly to an individual’s carbon footprint and if you are using one or two of these inhalers every month, then that can really add up to hundreds of kilos of carbon dioxide equivalent over the course of a year, which is similar to other actions that people are keen to take to reduce their carbon footprint such as going vegetarian.”

I will start taking this “carbon footprint” issue seriously when green justice celebrities stop taking private jets.

Dry Powder Inhalers (DPIs) have some disadvantages over Metered-Dose Inhalers (MDIs), such as putting out doses too fast for small children.

DPIs have some additional disadvantages as well; because of the wide range of DPI designs, there are challenges in developing information and instructions in support of the device and the functionality of the device might not last as long as an MDI. DPIs are also more susceptible to contamination because of their design and drug delivery method whereas MDIs are not; DPIs also contain lactose, though in small amounts. DPIs are generally more expensive to produce as well.

But price is no object when you can virtue signal . . . and it’s not your own child’s life on the line.


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