Mitigating Anesthetic Ozone-Depleting Emissions: New data. New solutions.

Walt Vernon, PE, LEED AP, EDAC, FASHE

Principal, Chief Executive Officer
4/08/15

A new study from Geophysical Research Letters indicates the concentration of inhaled anesthetics in the atmosphere is rising rapidly and in problematic ways.

WHY the Problem

These anesthetics, halogenated ethers, are not metabolized by a patient’s body and are mostly exhaled immediately. The gasses are ozone-depleting, with extremely high greenhouse effect. Unfortunately, they are completely unregulated by both the Montreal Protocol (ozone) and the Kyoto accords (greenhouse gasses), largely because of the perception of their relative insignificance and the inability to mitigate the emissions in any way.

Our greenhouse gas inventories for various healthcare clients, while small in respective quantity, loom large in percentage of the facilities’ emissions.

Combatting the Problem

Fortunately, new technology is now available to capture and sequester these gasses. Anesthesiologist Dr. James Berry, founder of Anesthetic Gas Reclamation, LLC (AGR), produced one of the available technological solutions. This solution can capture 99 percent of anesthetic gases for potential reuse, preventing their release into the environment. AGR has also developed a special scavenging interface for anesthesia machines called the DGSS® (Dynamic Gas Scavenging System). It reduces the energy consumption used by hospital waste anesthetic gas disposal systems by up to 90 percent. The DGSS also reduces the medical vacuum demand, thus saving energy dollars, pump capacity, and pump life and maintenance. This device qualifies for utility rebates in some states.

The new GRL study underscores the potential benefit of halting the continued dumping of these substances into the air. Mazzetti has a long history of supporting these new technologies and helping our clients to implement them, for the benefit of all. Indeed, we are administering a program right now for Pacific Gas & Electricity (PG&E), a large California utility, to help reduce the cost of the valve installations so they have a payback of less than a year.

We have a reason to act. We have a way to act. Lets get it done!

Please contact David Lennon or Arash Guity for more information about the DGSS valve for your healthcare facility.


Aaron Schiess, PE

Associate, Senior Mechanical Engineer

Allan Hendrikse, PE, LEED AP BD+C

Senior Associate, Electrical Engineer

Anareli Catalan

Technology BIM Specialist

Andy Neathery

Technology BIM Specialist

Angelica Chow

Electrical Designer

Arturo S Salud

Associate, Senior Electrical Designer

Austin Barolin, PE, CEM, LEED AP O&M

Associate, Senior Energy Analyst

Bethany Beers, CCP, LEED AP BD+C

Energy & Commissioning Consultant

Bill Caron, PE, DBIA

Associate Principal, Senior Mechanical Engineer

Bill Hinton, CNMT

Associate Principal, Senior Project Manager

Brennan Schumacher, LEED AP

Associate Principal, Lighting Design Lead

Brian Hageman, LEED AP

Associate Principal, Plumbing Discipline Lead

Brian Hans, PE, LEED AP

Associate Principal, Senior Mechanical Engineer

Brian J. Lottis, LEED AP BD+C

Associate, Senior Mechanical Designer

Brianne Copes, PE, LEED AP

Senior Associate, Mechanical Engineer

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