Inhaled anesthetic 2020 challenge - American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

Reduce your facility inhaled anesthetic carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2020!

Reduce Inhaled Anesthetic Atmospheric Waste

Inhaled anesthetics are potent greenhouse gases. Waste anesthetic gases (WAGs) are routinely vented off facility rooftops, where their emissions to the outdoor environment are currently not controlled. Several simple strategies from the Anesthesiology Sustainability Checklist can reduce these emissions, and serve to protect public health, without compromising patient care:

  1.  Utilize low fresh gas flows
  2. Avoid high impact inhaled anesthetics: Desflurane, Nitrous Oxide
  3. Consider intravenous and regional techniques
  4. Invest in WAG trapping (for volatiles only) or WAG destroying (all inhaled anesthetics, including Nitrous Oxide) technology for the Anesthesia Machine

Inhaled Anesthesia Climate Initiative: Project Drawdown

Inhaled Anesthesia Climate Initiative Project Drawdown is an international campaign that aims to benchmark facility-level inhaled anesthetic carbon footprints to compare and inspire performance improvement efforts. Project Drawdown participants can anonymously pool their annual facility’s inhaled anesthetic procurement volumes, and contribute to a growing body of knowledge to help leverage carbon mitigation in the health care sector across the globe. Participants may opt to receive a report of their facility’s carbon footprint results, and can track progress over time.

How’s your facility doing?

Some institutions have made great progress in reducing their inhaled anesthetic footprint, for example, through removal of desflurane from the drug formulary or by relocating desflurane vaporizers to a locked cabinet and limiting access to special request. Other facilities are just beginning to pay attention to inhaled anesthetic pollution. It is helpful to measure the current state of emissions and track mitigation progress. By opting to participate in the Project Drawdown study, you can contribute to a growing body of knowledge to help leverage carbon reduction in the healthcare sector across the globe. Participants may opt to receive a report of their facility carbon footprint results and can track changes over time.

Enter your annual facility inhaled anesthetic volume here.

How’s your personal practice?

Discover the carbon emissions of your inhaled anesthetic choices with an educational inhaled anesthetic greenhouse gas calculator. Access with the free mobile apps, Yale Gassing Greener (for Apple and Android devices) or the Anaesthetic Impact Calculator (available only for Android devices). Or, use the links below, no app required!

For anesthesia providers:
Anesthesia Carbon Calculator 
Suggested Practice Problems  

For nitrous oxide analgesia providers: 
Nitrous Analgesia Carbon Calculator 
Suggested Practice Problems

Thank You Industry Supporters

Whose contributions allow the American Society of Anesthesiologists® to create world-class education and resources to improve patient care and outcomes.

Learn More