KARACHI - The emission of CFC (chlorofluorocarbons) in the air damages ozone layer which causes cancer, cataract (blindness), skin aging and suppression of body immune system. The Pakistan government resolves its commitment to the timely elimination of CFCs and all other ozone depleting substances and fully recognises the need to reduce and remove the current exemption which allows for the production and import of CFCs for Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs). However, the Pakistan Government has also recognised the need for the phase out of CFC-based MDIs in order to ensure a smooth and efficient transition to non-CFC treatments of asthma and Chronic Obstructive. Federal Minister for Environment Hameed Ullah Jan Afridi said this while addressing International Workshop for Awareness/Information Exchange and to Review the Progress of Chlorofluorocarbon-Metered Dose Inhalers (CFC-MDI) Transition Strategy in Pakistan organised by Ozone Cell of Ministry of Environment at local hotel in city on Saturday. He said that ozone layer depletion has been an international problem and the response of the world community to tackle this issue has been commendable. He added that the emission of (chlorofluorocarbons) CFC in the air damages the ozone layer which ultimately allows harmful Ultraviolet-B radiations of the Sun on the Earth. Pakistan is facing various challenges to get rid of this problem, however we have a strategy in place to phase out CFC from MDIs industries, he said. Federal Minister for Environment, who was the chief guest at the workshop, further said that this workshop has brought together all the stakeholders to sensitise them on environmental hazards of CFC MDIs and share information and knowledge for evolving a pragmatic and viable strategy for the conversion of CFC MDI industry to CFC free technology. He said that todays workshop indicates the close cooperation and coordination, which the Ozone Cell, Ministry of Environment has with national and international stakeholders. Afridi stated that the emission of CFC in the air damages the ozone layer which causes cancer, cataract (Blindness), skin aging and suppression of body immune system. However; developed world is well ahead to transit from technologies which damage ozone layer to ozone friendly technologies. Montreal Protocol and Multilateral fund under this protocol is an excellent example of cooperation amongst the nations, he added. He informed that although the import and use of first generation of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) has been banned, but one of these ODS namely Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) is allowed to be used in MDI for restrictive use under essential use nominations. Federal Minister informed that in Pakistan, some multinational pharmaceutical industries that are catering the needs for about 25 million people of Pakistan suffering from asthma and other such diseases. He urged that the local manufacturers of CFC MDIs to realise the importance of the issue and their presence in this workshop indicate that they are well on board to this matter. He pointed out that industry in Pakistan needs further international assistance to meet the task in time. Federal Minister Afridi also said that Government has resolved to facilitate all pharmaceutical companies and all possible measures are being taken to reduce the duties in importing equipments, related matter and technology for CFC-MDIs. Earlier, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment Abid Ali presented introductory remarks. Programme Officer UNDP Abdul Qadir Rafiq and Regional Coordinator for Asia and Pacific, UNEP Atul Bagai also addressed on this occasion. National expert of Ozone Cell, Ministry of Environment Parvez Anwar and representatives of pharmaceutical companies gave detailed presentations on this issue.