CONCERN has been expressed over the use of the halo-genated anaesthetics halothane (CF3CClBrH), enflurane (CF2HOCF2CFC1H) and isoflurane (CF2HOCHC1CF3) because of their potential for stratospheric ozone destruction1. Halogenated species also contribute to global warming2. The significance of the anaesthetics in stratospheric ozone loss or in 'greenhouse' heating depends on their atmospheric lifetimes. Because reaction with hydroxyl (OH) radicals is likely to be the main homogeneous sink for these species in the troposphere, we have measured absolute rates of reaction with OH. Comparison with a one-dimensional model3 indicates that the lifetimes of halothane, enflurane and isoflurane with respect to this reaction are 2, 6 and 5 years, respectively. Thus the small production of the anaesthetics is not offset by anomalously long atmospheric lifetimes to give a large atmospheric burden of the compounds. The anaesthetics will con-tribute at most a fraction of ∼5x 10-4 to the total atmospheric content of chlorine-containing species.
Your institute does not have access to this article
Open Access articles citing this article.
Scientific Reports Open Access 09 June 2022
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Nørreslet, J. et al. Lancet i, 719 (1989).
WMO Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project Atmospheric Ozone Report 16 (World Meteorological Organisation, Geneva, 1985).
Hammitt, J. K. et al. Nature 330, 711–716 (1987).
Goth, A. Medical Pharmacology (C. V. Cosby Co., St Louis, 1981).
Rogers, R. C. & Ross, J. A. S. Lancet i, 1209–1210 (1989).
Finlayson-Pitts, B. J. & Pitts, J. N. Jr Atmospheric Chemistry (Wiley Interscience, New York, 1986).
Dumas, J.-M. et al. Can. J. Spectrosc. 26, 102–108 (1981).
Lewis, B. R., Berzius, L. & Carver, J. M. Appl. Opt. 25, 2647–2648 (1986).
Burrows, J. P., Wallington, T. J. & Wayne R. P. JCS Faraday Trans. II 79, 111–122 (1983).
Boodaghians, R. B., Hall, I. W. & Wayne, R. P. JCS Faraday Trans. II 83, 529–538 (1987).
NASA Panel for Data Evaluation Chemical Kinetics and Photochemical Data for use in Stratospheric Modeling, No. 8 JPL Publn No. 87-41 (Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Pasadena, 1987).
Prinn, R. et al Science 238, 945–950 (1987).
Rogers, J. D. & Stephens, R. D. J. geophys. Res. 93, 2423–2428 (1988).
Liu, T. & Ji, L. Pharm. Ind. 4, 37–39 (1984).
CMA Fluorocarbon Program Panel Production, Sales and Calculated Release of CFC11 and CFC12 through 1986 (Chemical Manufacturers Association, Washington, DC, 1987).
About this article
Cite this article
Brown, A., Canosa-Mas, C., Parr, A. et al. Tropospheric lifetimes of halogenated anaesthetics. Nature 341, 635–637 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1038/341635a0
Scientific Reports (2022)
Applied Physics B (2012)
Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry (1995)
Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry (1993)