Scotland has become the first country in the world to stop its hospitals using the anaesthetic desflurane because of the threat it poses to the environment.
NHS data suggests the gas, used to keep people unconscious during surgery, has a global warming potential 2,500 times greater than carbon dioxide.
Banning it in Scotland - from its peak use in 2017 - would cut emissions equal to powering 1,700 homes a year.
In the last few years, more than 40 hospital trusts in England and a number of hospitals in Wales have stopped using it.
Dr Kenneth Barker, anaesthetist and clinical lead for Scotland's national green theatres programme, said he was shocked to find the anaesthetic drug he had used for more than a decade for many major and routine operations was so harmful to the environment.
"I realised in 2017 that the amount of desflurane we used in a typical day's work as an anaesthetist resulted in emissions equivalent to me driving 670 miles that day," he said.
"I decided to stop using it straight away and many fellow anaesthetists have got on board.
"When you are faced with something as obvious as this and with the significance it has to the environment - I am very glad we have got to this stage."
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Source: BBC News, 3 March 2023