Last month, Californians suffered wildfire tragedies that led to the evacuation of nearly a million people. The fires took lives and destroyed precious land and homes. When asked to share how they were feeling, most Californians did not dwell on the loss of physical structures or the latest technological gadgets. Instead, they simply expressed appreciation for their lives and the lives of their families. They expressed heartfelt gratitude for the volunteers who came from all over the country to help them in their time of need. They greatly appreciated even the smallest actions.
A natural disaster can easily lead to feelings of helplessness and a mindset that small actions will go unnoticed. However, when we choose to drive cars, accumulate garbage, use aerosol products like hairspray and CFC based asthma inhalers, our daily actions directly contribute to a declining environment. In 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the removal of CFC albuterol inhalers from the market by December 31, 2008. CFC (Chlorofluorocarbon)-based albuterol inhalers help to deplete the ozone layer. CFC inhalers will be entirely replaced by HFA (hydrofluoroalkane) albuterol inhalers, a safe, effective, and environmentally-friendly alternative.
Your small actions can make a difference in the environment. Speak to your doctor now about switching to HFA inhalers. While switching may seem to be a nuisance at first and your body may need time to adjust to the HFA inhaler, know that you are receiving the same medication, but with a different delivery mechanism. Even better, you are now doing your part to protect our environment. This small modification in your daily treatment may not seem like much, but as you join 20 million asthma patients in transitioning, your choice becomes part of a major movement. Air quality affects asthmatics, so protecting it helps protect you as well.
Natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the California wildfires are tragic, but their aftermath helps us to reaffirm human spirit and altruism. This can also be a time to accept your role in protecting our environment. By switching to an HFA inhaler and promoting this transition, you are not only advocating on behalf of the millions of asthma sufferers, but you are advocating for the environment.
For more information about the transition, please visit Transition Now. For more information about what AAFA is doing for Asthma and Allergy patients and how you can be an advocate, please visit our Web site and sign up for our electronic advocacy newsletter, the Washington Update.