Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Asthma and COPD Inhalers That Contain Ozone-depleting CFCs to be Phased Out; Alternative Treatments Available

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SILVER SPRING, Md., April 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced, in accordance with longstanding U.S. obligations under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, seven metered-dose inhalers (MDI) used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will be gradually removed from the U.S. marketplace. These inhalers contain ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are propellants that move medication out of the inhaler and into the lungs of patients. Alternative medications that do not contain CFCs are available.

The affected products and their phase out schedule include:
Inhaler Medication
Last Date to be manufactured, sold or dispensed in U.S.
Manufacturer

Tilade Inhaler (nedocromil)
June 14, 2010
King Pharmaceuticals

Alupent Inhalation Aerosol (metaproterenol)
June 14, 2010
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals

Azmacort Inhalation Aerosol (triamcinolone)
Dec. 31, 2010
Abbott Laboratories

Intal Inhaler (cromolyn)
Dec. 31, 2010
King Pharmaceuticals

Aerobid Inhaler System (flunisolide)
June 30, 2011
Forest Laboratories

Combivent Inhalation Aerosol (albuterol and ipratropium in combination)
Dec. 31, 2013
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals

Maxair Autohaler (pirbuterol)
Dec. 31, 2013
Graceway Pharmaceuticals





Patients using the inhalers scheduled to be phased out should talk to their health care professional about switching to one of several alternative treatments currently available. Until then, patients should continue using their current inhaler medication.

CFCs are harmful because they deplete the ozone layer miles above the Earth that absorb some of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. The United States has banned the general use of CFCs in consumer aerosols for decades, and eliminated the production of CFCs in the United States as of Jan. 1, 1996, except for certain limited uses, such as MDIs.

"During this transition, FDA wants to ensure that patients have access to safe and effective alternative medications to treat their asthma or COPD," said Badrul Chowdhury, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology Products in FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "We are currently working with professional societies and patient organizations to make sure patients understand which products will no longer be available and have information on which alternative medication might work best for them."

The CFC phase out is part of an international agreement to ban substances that deplete the Earth's ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the U.S. Clean Air Act aim to protect the public health and the environment from the potentially negative effects of ozone depletion. Bans on products containing CFCs began in the late 1970s.

The decision to phase out the products is the latest in a series of decisions related to the removal of CFC inhaler products from the market as required by the Clean Air Act. The agency proposed to phase-out the seven remaining products in 2007 and reached a final decision after reviewing more than 4,000 public comments and information submitted as part of a public meeting.

For more information:
Seven Inhalers That Use CFCs Being Phased Out
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm207864.htm
Phase-Out of CFC Metered-Dose Inhalers Containing flunisolide, triamcinolone, metaproterenol, pirbuterol, albuterol and ipratropium in combination, cromolyn, and nedocromil
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/ucm193896.htm
Metered-Dose Inhalers Clean Air Act Information
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/LawsActsandRules/ucm071523.htm
Drug Treatments for Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease that Do Not Use Chlorofluorocarbons
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/ucm082370.htm
Media Inquiries: Erica Jefferson, 301-796-4988, erica.jefferson@fda.hhs.gov
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sony Launches 'Road to Zero' Environmental Plan and Sets 2015 Mid-term Targets

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TOKYO, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Corporation today announced its "Road to Zero" global environmental plan. The plan, which includes a long-term goal of achieving a zero environmental footprint by 2050, uses backcasting methods to set specific mid-term environmental targets for the next five years in line with that goal. Sony's definition of zero environmental footprint is not only limited to the neutralization of carbon emissions, but also extends to waste and use of finite materials such as oil-derived virgin plastics.

Targets are based on four environmental perspectives - climate change, resource conservation, control of chemical substances and biodiversity - across all product lifecycle stages, from research and development to recycling. The mid-term targets will be implemented globally across the Sony Group beginning in fiscal year 2011 (April 2011), and will extend through the end of fiscal year 2015 (March 2016), at which time new targets for the following 5 years will be set.

Specific mid-term targets include:

* 30% reduction in annual energy consumption of products (compared to fiscal 2008)
* 10% reduction in product mass (compared to fiscal 2008)
* 50% absolute reduction in waste generation (compared to fiscal 2000)
* 30% absolute reduction in water consumption (compared to fiscal 2000)
* 14% reduction in total CO2 emissions associated with all transportation and logistics (compared to fiscal 2008)
* 16% reduction in incoming parts packaging waste (compared to fiscal 2008)
* Increase of waste recycle ratio to 99% or more
* 5% reduction in utilization ratio of virgin oil-based plastics in products (compared to fiscal 2008)
* Assessment of impact of resource procurement and facility construction on biodiversity, and promotion of biodiversity programs such as groundwater cultivation
* Minimization of the risk of chemical substances through preventive measures; reduction in use of specific chemicals defined by Sony; and promotion of use of alternative materials

Click here to find out more!

"We are fully committed to putting our innovative spirit and technological expertise to use to help solve environmental challenges," said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corporation. "From the development of new materials and energy-efficient technologies, to the introduction of better processes in manufacturing and production, we will work aggressively to meet the ambitious targets we are setting for ourselves and, at the same time, establish a model for others in our industries to follow."

Sony has already made significant progress in reducing its environmental impact around the world. Sony's European sites, for example, have reduced their CO2 emissions from electricity use and facility heating by approximately 93% between fiscal years 2000 and 2009. In addition, the majority of its BRAVIA TV range now carries the EU 'flower,' an eco-label introduced by the EU to certify greener, more environmentally friendly products that comply with strict ecological criteria.

Sony Europe is also a founding member of the 'European Recycling Platform' (ERP). Fully operational in 11 European countries, the ERP effectively manages end-of-life collection and recycling for all consumer electronics products. In 2008, approximately 60,000 tons of electronic waste were collected and recycled on behalf of Sony in 20 European countries.

In the U.S., Sony Electronics (SEL) was the first consumer electronics manufacturer to institute a nation-wide Take Back Recycling Program in 2007 through which consumers can recycle any Sony-branded product free of charge. To date, SEL has recycled more than 13,000 tons of electronic waste through its take back efforts.

In Japan, Sony is the only company that voluntarily collects used small-sized consumer electronics on an experimental basis jointly with a municipality, Kitakyushu City in southern Japan. Gold, silver, bronze and palladium are extracted from the products discarded by city residents and are subsequently reused by Sony. For example, the recycled gold was used in Sony's semiconductor chips that were then adopted for use in Sony Ericsson's "URBANO BARONE" mobile phone (available in Japan through KDDI Corporation since February 2010).

In addition, the new VAIO W eco edition, launched in most major global markets this year and designed to be the industry's most environmentally friendly laptop, features recycled plastic parts, an electronic manual and an innovative carry-bag that saves 10% in CO2 emissions during production.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, based in Culver City, CA, took an important step toward its zero waste goal in June 2009 by partnering with the City of Culver City in a first-of-its-kind organic waste composting program. Thanks to this program, the studio has already diverted up to 80% of its waste from landfills (as of December 2009). In addition, an estimated 8,559 set pieces were reused in 2009, saving over a million pounds (500 tons) of material and helping reduce impact on natural resources. That same year, the studio recycled 81 tons of electronic waste.

Sony's fiscal year 2015 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and power consumption per product were reviewed and approved by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as a renewal of the company's Climate Savers Programme commitments. Sony has been a member of the WWF Climate Savers Programme since 2006. The Programme was organized by WWF International to mobilize companies to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

To learn more about Sony Group's "Road to Zero," refer to: sony.net/SonyInfo/csr/eco/RoadToZero

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $79 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009. Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net

SOURCE Sony Corporation of America

Source: PR Newswire

Monday, April 12, 2010

How to Identify Eco Friendly Products

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