9/6/11 (AEIN) Iran has successfully phased out CFC-based inhalers, one of several products that deplete the Earth's ozone layer. The Central Asian country became the first nation in Asia to stop producing such inhalers, according to an announcement issued on Tuesday by the United Nations. The U.N. aided Iran in accomplishing this goal.
A ceremony was held in the Iranian capitol Teheran to mark the completed phase-out and the closure of a plant which produced CFC-based asthma inhalers. Government officials, U.N. representatives, doctors, reporters and other individuals attended, according to the United Nations. The Minister of Health spoke, pointing out that the step will benefit both environmental protection and health.
Iran's Minister of Environment praised efforts by the Iranian company Sina Darou Laboratories to change over to manufacturing CFC-free inhalers. He received an award from a U.N. Environment Program official, who honored the country's efforts to eliminate CFCs. The U.N. began supplying funds in 2007 to help Iran's government and Sina Darou carry out the costly transition to CFC-free products.
Twenty other Asian countries signed a declaration on phasing out CFC-based inhalers in 2008. CFCs (ChloroFluoroCarbons) break down in the upper atmosphere and release chlorine, according to the Information Please Almanac. This depletes the ozone layer, raising the risk of cataracts and skin cancer caused by sunlight.