Inhaled anaesthetics used to put patients to sleep during surgery contribute to global climate change, according to a new study.
These anaesthetics undergo very little metabolic change in the body, the researchers noted. When they're exhaled by patients, they're almost exactly the same as they were when administered by anaesthetist. The anaesthetics "usually are vented out of the building as medical waste gases," the study authors wrote in a news release. "Most of the organic anaesthetic gases remain for a long time in the atmosphere where they have the potential to act as greenhouse gases."