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ATS Comments on EU Proposal to Ban MDI Propellants with High Global Warming Impact

In October, the ATS submitted comments on a European Union (EU) proposal to quickly phase out propellants used in metered dose inhaler (MDI) medications.  EU is considering an 18-month phasing out of two commonly used MDI propellants, HFA-134a and HFC-227ea, due to significant global warming impacts of these gases.  The EU is also considering a ban on the future use of all per-and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) due to concerns with their long-lasting environmental impacts.  Unfortunately, a complete ban on all PFAS would block development of a promising MDI alternative propellants, HFO-123ze, that has a negligible global warming impact and in initial studies has shown to be an excellent candidate as an MDI propellant. 

The ATS comments urged the EU to recognize that the decision they make will have global impacts on the supply and price of respiratory products.  The ATS also noted that while industry has committed to switch from current MDI propellants to a new generation of propellants with a lower global warming footprint, appropriate alternatives are not yet widely available.  The ATS urged the EU to consider a longer phase-out period than the proposed 18 months.  The ATS comments also urged the EU to allow industry to further explore the safety and efficacy of HFO-123ze as a potential next generation MDI propellant.

Last Reviewed: October 2023