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.