Environmentally Friendly Albuterol Inhaler
While older albuterol inhalers contain a type of propellant that is believed to deplete the ozone layer, there are new, environmentally friendly albuterol inhaler products available on the market. The new inhalers, which do not contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), all contain albuterol in the same strength as the old inhalers, are used in a similar manner, and should be just as effective.
Environmentally Friendly Albuterol Inhalers: An Overview
Traditional albuterol inhalers contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These CFCs are used as propellants and are known as substances that deplete the ozone layer. CFCs have been banned from most products made in the United States since 1978. However, CFCs were allowed in certain medical products, including albuterol inhalers. In March 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that CFC-containing albuterol inhalers must not be produced or sold after December 31, 2008.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (often referred to as "Montreal Protocol") is an international treaty involving the United States. Under this treaty, the United States has agreed to ban the use of CFCs from most consumer products, with the exception of certain "essential use" medical products. Albuterol was one of those exempted products because there were no alternatives to the CFC-containing albuterol inhalers.
However, new CFC-free, environmentally friendly albuterol inhalers have been studied and brought to the market, and the FDA has determined that these products are sufficient to replace the old inhalers.
New "HFA" Albuterol Inhalers
The new environmentally friendly albuterol inhalers contain hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) as the propellant, which is not a CFC. These products include:
These products all contain albuterol in the same strength as the old inhalers. They are used in a similar manner and should be just as effective as the old inhalers. People may notice a different taste, since most of the taste in the albuterol products is due to the propellant. Because there are no generic versions of the new inhalers, they are more expensive than the old inhalers.