Environment and your inhalers

The gases (propellant) in some inhalers, particularly pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDIs), are powerful greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming; however, these are not harmful to you.

The NHS is asking people using a pMDI to consider changing their inhaler to a dry powder inhaler (DPI) or a soft mist inhaler (SMI) if safe and right to do so and recommended by your nurse, doctor, or pharmacist. Your medicine will continue to work in the same way. Research has so far shown that changing to a more environmentally friendly inhaler works well for most people. Many adults find these inhalers easier to use because it’s easier to get the technique right.

As long as your doctor, nurse or pharmacist shows you how to use your new inhaler, and you can use it well, changing from an pMDI to a DPI is not linked to symptoms getting worse or asthma attacks. But if it really doesn’t suit you, you can ask to change back.

After an aerosol type inhaler has finished, it still contains these greenhouse gases.

Landfill disposal of inhalers is harmful to the environment as the left-over gases from canisters is released into the atmosphere.

If every inhaler-user in the UK returned all their aerosol type inhalers for one year, this could save 512,330 tonnes of CO2eq – the same as a VW Golf car being driven around the world 88,606 times!

For more information about Asthma and your inhaler visit https://www.asthma.org.uk/. 

Find out more

Read our leaflet providing important information about inhaler medicine:

Inhaler Leaflet

Inhaler Poster

Inhaler Technique Poster