Some asthma inhalers made with ozone-damaging chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellants will be banned in the United States starting in 2009, U.S. regulators said on Thursday.
Adequate supplies of alternative inhalers will be available by that time, the Food and Drug Administration said.The ban applies to albuterol metered-dose inhalers, which asthma patients use to help open air passages and ease breathing, that contain CFCs.Manufacturers of the more environmentally friendly inhalers will offer discounts and other aid to people who cannot afford the newer versions, an FDA statement said. The newer inhalers currently cost about $20 more than older, generic inhalers.Makers of albuterol inhalers that do not contain CFCs include GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Ivax Corp .Scientists believe CFCs deplete the earth’s protective ozone layer. CFC-containing albuterol inhalers had been exempted from a general ban on CFC production because they were given “essential use” status. (Source: Reuters Health, April 2005)