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Metored Dose Inhalers (Cfcs Exemption)

Volume 301: debated on Friday 21 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to phase out the chlorofluorocarbons exemption on metored dose inhalers. [16639]

I have been asked to reply.The Montreal Protocol allows chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to continue to be produced for use in the manufacture of metered dose inhalers. This essential use exemption will only continue to be provided until an adequate range of non CFC based alternatives is on the market, which in the European Union is likely to occur within the next two to five years.The European Commission expects to finalise in January a transition strategy which will provide for the orderly phase out of CFCs in metered dose inhalers as suitable non-CFC based treatments become available. The government has also begun to prepare a UK phase out strategy to complement the European Union strategy. We will be consulting on the UK strategy shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the current annual volume of chlorofluorocarbons released into the atmosphere through the use of metered dose inhalers in the United Kingdom. [16638]

I have been asked to reply.In 1996 the European Commission approved the production of 2,171 tonnes of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) for use by the manufacturers of metered dose inhalers in the United Kingdom under the essential use exemption allowed by the Montreal Protocol. About 40 per cent. of these metered dose inhalers will be used in the United Kingdom, the remainder being exported to other European Union countries and elsewhere. It is assumed that all the CFC used in the manufacture of metered dose inhalers will eventually be emitted to the atmosphere.