International Ban on CFCs Claims Cheap, Over-Counter Inhalers

In an effort to plant a talking point in the next Republican presidential debate prevent damage to the ozone layer, the Obama administration will order the phase-out of an over-the-counter asthma inhaler at the end of this year.

The Primatene Mist inhaler is the only one on the market that uses chlorflourocarbons (CFCs) as a propellant. Those compounds have been the target of an international phase-out campaign since 1987, when it became clear that they were helping destroy the ozone layer that protects the earth from direct exposure to solar radiation. Other inhalers use a different chemical to propel medicine to asthma sufferers, but those require prescriptions, and come at a higher cost.

Some commentators are not pleased at this development. Mark Hemingway at The Weekly Standard says it most succinctly: "The Obama administration would rather make people with Asthma cough up money than let them make a surely inconsequential contribution to depleting the ozone layer." Hemingway points to the experiences of The Atlantic's Megan McArdle with non-CFC inhalers (as well as low-energy clothes dryers, fluorescent light bulbs and low-flow toilets) as evidence that mandated environmental improvements lead to unhappiness, or at least to inconvenience.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

More in Health

Just In