Action guidance for addressing pollution from inhalational anaesthetics

Publication Name



Climate change is a real and accelerating existential danger. Urgent action is required to halt its progression, and everyone can contribute. Pollution mitigation represents an important opportunity for much needed leadership from the health community, addressing a threat that will directly and seriously impact the health and well-being of current and future generations. Inhalational anaesthetics are a significant contributor to healthcare-related greenhouse gas emissions and minimising their climate impact represents a meaningful and achievable intervention. A challenge exists in translating well-established knowledge about inhalational anaesthetic pollution into practical action. CODA is a medical education and health promotion charity that aims to deliver climate action-oriented recommendations, supported by useful resources and success stories. The CODA-hosted platform is designed to maximise engagement of the global healthcare community and draws upon diverse experiences to develop global solutions and accelerate action. The action guidance for addressing pollution from inhalational anaesthetics is the subject of this article. These are practical, evidence-based actions that can be undertaken to reduce the impact of pollution from inhalational anaesthetics, without compromising patient care and include: removal of desflurane from drug formularies; decommissioning central nitrous oxide piping; avoidance of nitrous oxide use; minimising fresh gas flows during anaesthesia; and prioritising total intravenous anaesthesia and regional anaesthesia when clinically safe to do so. Guidance on how to educate, implement, measure and review progress on these mitigation actions is provided, along with means to share successes and contribute to the essential, global transition towards environmentally sustainable anaesthesia.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access





First Page


Last Page


Funding Sponsor

National Health and Medical Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)