Widely used in everyday surgeries, anaesthetic and medical gases are responsible for around 2% of all NHS emissions.
Desflurane, an anaesthetic gas routinely used in operating theatres, is one of the most common, but also one of the most harmful.
It is more than 2,500 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (CO2). An hour’s anaesthetic using the gas will warm the atmosphere by the equivalent of between approximately 30 and 60kg of CO2. That’s the equivalent of driving between 200 and 400 kilometres compared to driving between five to ten kilometres for sevoflurane, a lower carbon alternative.