According to the National Health Service in Scotland, the sedative gas desflurane has a global warming potential 2,500 times greater than carbon dioxide. Doctors claim banning it would cut emissions equal to powering 1,700 homes a year.
Scotland is not the only place in the U.K. to move away from desflurane. England and several hospitals in Wales have stopped using it too.
In a statement provided to the BBC, Dr. Kenneth Barker, Scottish anesthetist and the head of the climate doctor organization, National Green Theatres Programme said:
I realised in 2017 that the amount of desflurane we used in a typical day’s work as an anesthetist resulted in emissions equivalent to me driving 670 miles that day.
I decided to stop using it straight away and many fellow anesthetists have got on board.
When you are faced with something as obvious as this and with the significance it has to the environment – I am very glad we have got to this stage.
Anesthesiologists claim the greenhouse gas emissions of desflurane are 25 times higher than that of the alternative, sevoflurane.
Read more: Scotland bans medical anesthetic for climate footprint