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Two Asian Economic Giants Join efforts to Phase out Use of CFC-Based Inhalers

Indian and Chinese officials met in New Delhi during 23-26 May 2011 to seek for the best solutions to ensure smooth transition from CFC-based Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs), used in asthma patients to CFC-free MDIs.

Bangkok, 31st May 2011: Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are considered significant health problems across the Globe. It is estimated that this disease affects over 300 million people worldwide and the death toll has been estimated at 250,000. More than 20 million Chinese are estimated to be suffering from asthma with a morbidity rate at 2.0%. Every year, according to statistics, it kills nearly 62,000 people in China and the situation is on a rising trend on yearly basis.

 

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are commonly used as chemical propellant to push medication out of the MDIs but CFCs deplete the stratospheric ozone layer. Ozone layer depletion can lead to an overexposure to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation which is harmful to lives on Earth. It can cause serious health effects, such as skin cancer, cataracts, and immune suppression, as well serious ecological impacts.

 

China, the largest consumer of CFCs in the MDI manufacturing sector uses CFCs for both local consumption and export purposes. CFCs in China have been phased out since 1 January 2010 as stipulated by the Montreal Protocol but CFCs are available for the MDI sector through the Essential Use Nomination provisions within the Protocol.

 

Some developing countries have taken the lead in the CFC phase out efforts and the industry has played a prominent role in supporting the national phase out initiative. India is one of the Asian countries where the Industry has taken the lead in phasing-out CFC consumption in MDI sector and has successfully converted their CFC based manufacturing into CFC-free based ones.

 

As part of the South-South cooperation facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (UNEP DTIE), OzonAction, Compliance Assistance Programme, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (CAP ROAP), China officials from the Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO), Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), Health officials and the MDI Industry representatives in China are visiting the Ozone cell, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India and meeting with  the Ministry of Health, Drug Controller General of India, and CIPLA India Ltd. in India to gain experience from India’s CFC based MDI phase out approaches.

 

“China’s technology requirements for CFC phase-out and law for intellectual property is different from that of India.  After discussion with the officials from Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Food and Drug Administration of Government of India, we have understood India’s strategies, policies and basic approaches on phase-out of CFC MDIs. The communications between central government, as well as state governments, and the MDI enterprises in India, make the CFC substitution process conduct effectively. The experiences are useful for China’s CFC MDI phase-out. Under the framework of the strategies, guidelines and technical requirements for CFC MDI phase-out, we are concreting the communication with MDI industry, meanwhile the fast track of CFC-free MDIs approved is being set up. The phase-out of CFC-MDIs in China will be finished, premising upon the assurance of alternative products safety and efficiency for patients in China. ” said Ms. Zhang Peipei, Deputy Director, Center for Drug Evaluation (CDE) of State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), Government of China.

 

South-South Cooperation is an initiative established and supported by UNEP DTIE OzonAction CAP ROAP. It allows countries with greater experience on Montreal Protocol implementation to assist other countries develop and effectively implement the Montreal Protocol phase-out measures. The meeting of the two Asian economic giants is one of the most significant and historical cooperation facilitated by CAP ROAP established in the year 2011.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:


Mr. Rajendra Shende

Head, UNEP DTIE OzonAction

15, rue de Milan, 

75441 Paris CEDEX 09, France

Tel: 33-1-44371459

Fax: 33-1-44371474

Email: rajendra.shende@unep.org

 

Mr. Atul Bagai
Senior Regional Coordinator

Compliance Assistance Programme
OzonAction Programme
UNEP Regional Office for Asia and Pacific
UN Building, Rajdamnern Nok Avenue
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tel: +6622881662
Fax: +6622883041

Email: atul.bagai@unep.org


NOTES TO EDITORS:

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Created in 1972, UNEP represents the United Nations’ environmental conscience. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, its mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics - based in Paris - helps governments, local authorities and decision-makers in business and industry to develop and implement policies and practices focusing on sustainable development. The Division leads UNEP's work in the areas of climate change, resource efficiency, harmful substances and hazardous waste.

 

Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer

The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987 and entered into force on January 1, 1989. Since then, it has undergone five revisions, in 1990 (London), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing). Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international cooperation "Perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date...”

 

About the Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) of UNEP DTIE

UNEP as an Implementing Agency of the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol has a unique regionalized programme that delivers compliance assistance services to countries to assist them meet the international commitments under the Protocol. The compliance regime requires countries to: achieve and sustain compliance, promote a greater sense of country ownership and implement the agreed Executive Committee framework for strategic planning.

 

UNEP through the Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) has moved from project management approach to a direct implementation initiative through its specialized staff. Consistent with the above approach the Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (ROAP) CAP team has developed to be the centre for policy advice, compliance guidance and conduct training to refrigeration technicians, customs officers and other relevant stakeholders on compliance issues, promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation and promote high-level awareness by utilizing UNEP’s staff.

 

OzonAction Programme: www.unep.org/ozonaction

Multilateral Fund: www.multilateral fund.org

Ozone Secretariat: www.ozone.unep.org