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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 5, Issue 3, Pages 176-179
Brief Report

The Ozone Layer and Metered Dose Inhalers

Louis-Philippe Boulet

Le Centre de pneumologie de l’Hôpital Laval, 2725 chemin Sainte-Foy, Sainte-Foy, Québec G1V 4G5, Canada

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The stratospheric ozone layer plays a crucial role in protecting living organisms against ultraviolet radiation. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) contained in metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) contribute to ozone depletion and in accordance with the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer established 10 years ago, phase-out strageies have been developed worldwide for this category of agents. Alternatives to CFC-containing inhalers have been developed, such as powder inhalers and those using hydrofluoroalkanes (HFAs) as propellants, which have been shown to be as safe and effective as CFC-containing inhalers and even offer interesting advantages over older inhalers. The transition to non-CFC MDIs requires a major effort to make the new products available and to ensure adequate comparision with the previous ones. It also requires a harmonization of actions taken by industry, government, licencing bodies and patients or health professional associations to ensure adequate information and education to the public and respiratory care providers.