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The president speaks: prevention is best: lessons from protecting the ozone layer
  1. Ashley Woodcock
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ashley Woodcock, Institute of Inflammation and Repair, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, M23 9LT, UK; ashley.woodcock{at}


The Montreal Protocol was signed 25 years ago. As a result, the irreversible destruction of the ozone layer was prevented. However, stratospheric ozone will not recover completely until 2060 and the consequent epidemic in skin cancer cases will persist until 2100. Many millions of patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have safely switched from chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-powered metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) to either hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) or DPIs. China will be the last country to phase out CFCs by 2016. HFCs are global warming gases which will be controlled in the near future. HFCs in MDIs may be phased out over the next 10–20 years.

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