Skip to comments.Asthma Sufferers Victimized by UN Ozone Madness
Posted on 01/20/2009 9:53:05 AM PST by Coleus
Beginning January 1, 2009, millions of asthma sufferers will no longer legally be able to obtain the low-cost albuterol inhalers that enable them to breathe. The inhalers have been outlawed by FDA regulations under the UN Montreal Protocol on Ozone Deplation. Few things are more terrifying than being smothered, yet millions of Americans who suffer from asthma and other respiratory ailments experience this sensation on a regular basis. For many it is not just an unpleasant and debilitating experience, but a life-threatening one. For decades, these sufferers have received emergency relief from albuterol metered-dose inhalers (MDIs). These traditional MDIs, however, are propelled by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which environmental activists, UN bureaucrats, politicians, and some scientists claimed were destroying the Earth's stratospheric ozone layer.
Remember the "ozone hole"? That was the global environmental "crisis" that was threatening our planet with an imminent apocalypse before being replaced by "global warming." In a campaign similar to that which we are experiencing today regarding climate doomsday scenarios, various "experts" claimed that all human-produced CFCs must be eliminated or we would all suffer skin cancer and blindness due to increased ultra-violet radiation from the sun. The science behind the theory was always very flimsy (or outright fraudulent, as many scientists assert), but a chorus of voices sponsored the UN, government agencies, and environmentalist organizations and amplified by support from the major media claimed a "scientific consensus" on the matter. Hence, the Montreal Protocol crafted by the United Nations mandating a phased reduction of, and eventual global ban on, Freon, halon, and other CFCs.
In 1992, President George Bush (the elder) eagerly jumped aboard the green bandwagon and committed the United States to going even beyond the Montreal Protocol. A White House press statement of February 11, 1992, announced: "President Bush today announced that the United States will unilaterally accelerate the phaseout of substances that deplete the Earth's ozone layer and called on other nations to agree to an accelerated phaseout schedule. Current U.S. production is already more than 40 percent below the levels allowed by the Montreal Protocol and more than 20 percent ahead of Europe's nonaerosol production phasedown."
Medical devices such as inhalers were exempted from the ban. A few years later, however, during the Clinton administration, CFC-propelled MDIs were arbitrarily and arrogantly sacrificed on the altar of political expediency and political correctness. The FDA, acting under prodding of the EPA (then under Carol Browner, who is now Obama's energy and climate "czarina"), agreed to phase out the CFC MDIs even though the CFCs emitted by the inhalers are minuscule and no effective and affordable substitute was (or is) available to replace them.
CFCs from MDI inhalers are insignificant, accounting for less than 0.5 percent of total CFC emissions, so banning them will have no impact on the ozone layer. Drusilla Hufford, then-Acting Director of the EPA's Stratospheric Protection Division admitted that the decision was purely political, to avoid the difficulty of wrangling over the many possible exemptions for small usages.
Hufford told the FDA on April 11, 1997:
I would like to just very briefly try to provide you a little historical context, if I could. At the outset of policy discussions for controlling the ozone layer problem, the majority of U.S. uses of these chemicals were in the major air conditioning and refrigeration uses....
About a third of the problem, though, was made up of very small uses. CFCs were so industrially ubiquitous ... the parties to the Protocol and certainly those in the U.S. environmental community and the regulatory community faced the question of should there be any kind of move to exempt small uses on the basis of their smallness.
Because small uses then in the aggregate represented such a large portion of the problem, the decision was made to go ahead and address the problem as a whole, because if we ended up exempting an individual use based on its smallness [such as CFC MDIs], it would be very difficult when the next small user came in, to say, well, no, we need to hold the line here.
The FDA would later admit: "We are unable to quantify the environmental and human health benefits of reduced CFC emissions from this regulation [banning CFC MDIs.]" Thus, medical relief essential to some 20 million Americans was peremptorily outlawed because the "environmental community and the regulatory community" decided not to upset the UN agenda. Scientists, medical groups, physicians, pulmonary experts, and asthma sufferers testified and petitioned against the FDA/EPA mandate. Dr. Sallie Baliunas, an astrophysicist at Harvard University and the George Marshall Institute, said, "The amount of CFCs in inhalers is minute, so banning them won't make any improvement, and not having them will have a detrimental effect on some children." John Berlau, writing for Insight on the News in 1997, noted:
The FDA received more than 9,000 comments from medical groups, physicians and asthmatics. All except about 50 were opposed to the new regs. Physician groups including the AMA and the Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, or JCAAI, said the proposal would raise costs, lessen competition and leave many patients to suffer without alternatives. Daniel Ein, a Washington allergist who is president-elect of the JCAAI, says, "We feel, as practicing physicians, that we need to have as many tools available to us to treat a variety of patients with all their various needs as possible. The FDA proposal would artificially shut down a lot of those options, and we'd be forced often to use second- or third-best treatment rather than first-best treatment. We don't think that's good for our patients."
The FDA solemnly proclaimed that it would listen to and weigh the testimony of all petitioners before making a final decision on the matter; but there was never any doubt which way the Browner/Gore/Clinton forces were headed. "The decision to make the change was political, not medical or scientific," says Leslie Hendeles, a professor of pharmacy at the University of Florida, who co-authored a 2007 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine explaining the withdrawal and transition. The replacement for CFCs in the new inhalers is hydrofluoroalkane (HFA), which is supposedly better for the ozone layer and, according to spokesmen for the government, is completely satisfactory. However, testimonials by scientists, medical authorities, and asthma sufferers cited on the website of the National Campaign to Save CFC Asthma Inhalers claim the HFA inhalers are many times more costly and do not provide the emergency relief of the traditional CFC albuterol inhalers.
Dr. Nicholas J. Gross of the Stritch-Loyola School of Medicine was on the FDA advisory board that adopted the CFC MDI ban. He has since publicly stated he regrets the decision and has requested that the ban be pushed back for at least another year. That won't happen, of course, unless Congress comes under severe pressure from the 20-million-plus asthma sufferers and their families, friends, and physicians. Congress has been grossly negligent and irresponsible in allowing executive regulatory agencies such as the EPA and FDA to make these life-impacting decisions.
They’ve already done it. They phased out the inhalers that worked well for these awful things that barely deliver any medication, and cost through the roof.
These do gooders and their stupid climate nonsense will be the death of us. It’s eighty where I live today, with record cold everywhere else, but they are still determined to grease us up anyway.
More easily preventable deaths thanks to the UN and the greenies
Bad news is that it's true. The new inhalers suck ass. Almost literally. Sorry for the profanity but honestly I just can't think of a cleaner metaphor that fits properly.
My wife was moved to the new ones by her doctor about 6 months ago and they are completely worthless. Luckily she doesn't have corn allergies though so at least the new one won't kill her immediately. They also cost about $80 to $90 through normal pharmacies as opposed to the $12 she was paying for CFC. So she's getting ripped off while being killed slowly playing russian roulette with the crappy worthless non-working corn ethanol fueled inhaler.
The good news though is that Walmart is going to sell these new crappy ones (if they haven't started already) for about $9, which is $3 cheaper then my wife was paying for the old working CFC inhalers.
Either way they are crappy and will end up killing more people then a hole in the ozone layer ever did.
I’ll do what I can. I’ll paint my Halon fire extinguishers green.
I was trained in the use of CFCs and remember well that — when released to the atmosphere — CFCs are almost six times heavier than air. That meams that released CFC molecules drop and flow downhill just as water does.
Knowing that, I looked for explanations as to how CFC’s might possibly get into Earth’s upper atmosphere to destroy ozone; and found one book that mentioned it. It said that released CFCs could be picked up and lifted by tornados, aka “twisters.”
Beware of “scientists” touting environmental BS ... They are following money.
Nonsense. The “new” inhalers still deliver the exact same dosage of Salbutamol (100 mcg) as the old ones. The only difference is the propellant, which has no medicinal value. And they still cost the same.
Another bronchodialator called Advair, (the expensive one which costs around $150 for 120 metered doses) and also contains a corticosteroid, also delivers the exact same 250 mcg of medicine. The propellant has no medicinal value whatsoever.
And to claim that theirs something ‘wrong’ with the ethanol based propellant, that you wife is playing ‘russian roulette’ is ridiculous.
I guess your wife plays russian roulette every time she has a beer, a glass of wine, or a shot of whiskey and a host of all sorts of other medicines, and products containing ethanol.
Does the new propellant get that dose to the lungs or is a larger amount wasted in the mouth and throat because it doesn't get dispersed well enough?
They still deliver the exact same dose of medicine.
The propellant has no medicinal value whatsoever.
So unless you think CFC’s have some sort of medicinal value that made Advair and Salbutamol work, it’s all in your head.
I use both and they work just the same as they always did. The inhalers still contain and deliver the exact same metered doses of medication
Exact same amount of pressure in the inhaler as before.
The only problem with inhalers is most people don't know how to use them properly. They should use a Aero chamber until they learn how to inhale properly when using the medication.
I was sucked in to all they hype until I actually used the new stuff, and realized that it is no different at all that the old CFC propellant stuff, which is probably more dangerous even in the minute amounts they claim is used.
I have reduced lung function due to scarring caused by scleroderma.
I agree. I have been using asthma inhalers for years and I see no difference in effectiveness. I must say that the current inhaler I use has a better aftertaste than the old ones. I don’t know if that has to do with this or not. They cost the same for me and work just as well.
For years, I wasn’t using my inhaler properly. Most people I see using them use them incorrectly. I still use a spacer just to insure that I get the most from my medication.
No apology is necessary. The new inhalers are sh*t. They don't work as quickly, and are a pain since you must shake them for 1 minute before taking a puff. That's a lot of shaking when you're having an attack (I know...)
I hadn't heard about the Wal-Mart deals. I normally get mine though my military Tri-care care plan.
You are fortunate that the new inhalers work well for you.
However for many of us, the HFA inhalers 1. do not work as well, 2. do not work, or 3. result in serious problems.
In my case, I got a SEVERE asthma attack when ever I tried the new HFA inhalers. The new powdered inhalers, e.g. advair, also cause problems for those of us with milk allergies just like the corn ethanol causes problems for those with corn allergies.
As to comparing inhaling alcohol to drinking it, that’s just plain silly. Inhaled ethanol fumes are a known asthma trigger for many asthmatics.
In addition, the new HFA inhalers are prone to clogging, even when rigorously cared for.
The new HFA inhalers were rushed to market by the FDA for political reasons by-passing the FDA’s own testing requirements.
OOPS, I double posted.
my hubby has already been switched over and he hates them.
But we must be more concerned over a non-existent ozone crisis than we are for humans who can’t breathe well right?
For some reason, time after time, we keep giving into the stupid liberals and their stupid crises so they can feel good about themselves.
I’m glad the new inhalers work well for you. Consider yourself fortunate in this respect.
However, the new HFA inhalers 1. do not work for some, 2. do not work as well for some, and 3. harm some. When I tried the new HFA inhalers, I got the worst asthma attacks I’ve had in years.
HFA inhalers almost all contain corn based ethanol. Ethanol inhaled is a known asthma trigger; (inhaling alcohol is not the same as drinking it. Many people with asthma have multiple allergies, including corn.
In addition HFA inhalers are prone to clogging, even when diligently cared for.
The new powdered inhalers contain lactose which can be a problem for those of us with milk allergies.
The new HFA inhalers were rushed to market by the FDA for political reasons. The FDA’s own testing standards were by-passed.
Remember the "ozone hole"? That was the global environmental "crisis" that was threatening our planet with an imminent apocalypse before being replaced by "global warming."
Nathan, you have no idea what you are talking about. As another poster pointed out, you are fortunate that HFA MDIs work well for you. Why don’t you leave it at that and shut the hell up? Do you think that because it works for you it must work for everyone? Are you that big a fool?
HFA-134a propellant has NEVER been tested on asthmatic and other pulmonary patients and may well be a problem for some patients.
Real world, large scale, rigorous postmarketing studies were never done on HFA MDIs- 40 million patients are undergoing forced real world postmarketing studies NOW- and NOW these programs are being uncovered.
Ethanol is a Class Three Residual Solvent and a PROVEN BRONCHOCONSTRICTOR when it’s ingested OR inhaled in MDIs for SOME asthma patients whether you like it or not- we have the medical papers on this linked to our site AS WELL AS a research paper explaining how this works in an animal model (don’t even try reading it, Nathan- it’s WAY above your pay grade).
The corn residue in the ethanol may be a problem for corn-allergic patients according to Sepracor (Xopenex HFA) and Schering-Plough (Proventil HFA) technical staff.
The extractables and leachables and OTHER impurities and inactive ingredients are all new in HFA MDIs and are undoubtedly part of the problem for some patients.
You are ignorant of the facts, Nathan.
Many, perhaps most patients CAN handle HFA MDIs. But we have physicians, surgeons, PhDs in pharmacology, RNs, Respiratory Therapists who are patients who know how to use MDIs who KNOW that HFA MDIs ARE NOT SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FOR ALL PATIENTS. Capisce, Nathan?
Question to all bloggers: WHY would a satisfied HFA MDI user ARGUE WITH AND ATTACK OTHERS WHO ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH HFA MDIs? What kind of fool would do that?
ANSWER: The drug companies hire internet trolls like “Nathan” to do exactly what “Nathan” is doing as part of their PR DEFENSE. This tactic is well documented.
So “Nathan” is either a fool who has not done his homework who is arguing about something he knows nothing about- or he is a paid internet troll. A liar. Take your pick.
To get the FACTS and read the DATA and SUPPORTIVE LINKS that back up all I’ve said and much more- and to join our campaign to legalize CFC MDIs, go here:
The National Campaign to Save CFC Asthma Inhalers