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.
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