Asthma inhalers going green

Posted by Amanda Lents

Starting January 1st, the FDA is banning inhalers that harm the environment.

But a California asthma advocacy group is concerned the new green inhalers may not be as effective.

Starting January 1st, old fashioned CFC inhalers containing chemicals that harm earth's protective ozone layer will be banned in the US.

"We have to look at the big picture. People with asthma depend on a good environment," said Dennis Acha with Breathe California.

Breathe California supports the change, but recognizes people with asthma may have a hard time adjusting to the environmentally friendly HFA inhalers.

Patients use inhalers during asthma attacks to dispense airway relaxing Albuterol, but some patients say the new inhalers have less pressure.

Allergist Dr. Alan Goldsobel says they're still effective.

"The research studies have shown that they work equivalently when they're compared. The force of the inhaler has nothing to do with how it opens up your lungs," said Dr. Goldsobel.

Patients also complain the taste is different and the HFA inhalers require much more cleaning to prevent clogs.

Patients are also concerned about the cost because there is no generic version of these new green inhalers.

Patients may already have a hard time finding the traditional inhalers because manufacturers have already started phasing them out.