Anesthesiologists are conscientious in their duties but might not be aware of consequences of gases used. Ole John Nielsen is a professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of Copenhagen. As his wife was giving birth, an anesthesiologist explained the gas used for the procedure, which piqued his interest. He analyzed three different anesthetics: isoflurane, desflurane and sevoflurane, and while these are successfully used by anesthesiologists for patients, they may not be good for the environment.

The British Journal of Anesthesia reports that Nielson determined desflurane was the worst for the environment, emitting 1,620 times as much atmospheric warming potential as the same amount of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide, refrigerants and laughing gas must be reported but these gases are in the Freon family; banned since 1992. Fastcast: Warm.

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