Concentrations of inhalation anesthetics in room air during anesthesia in a veterinary teaching hospital (SIC-0742) were studied with and without control measures. With the exception of the larger room and equipment used specifically for equine surgery, the operating rooms were similar in dimensions, air conditioning flow rates, and arrangements of patients, furniture, and personnel to those in human facilities. Without control measures, average concentrations of 200, 14, and 6.9 parts per million were measured for nitrogen-oxides, halothane (151677), and methoxyflurane (76380), respectively. With control measures, these concentrations were reduced to 14.0, 0.23, and 0.18ppm, respectively. The authors note that the dynamics of occupational exposure to anesthetics are similar in operating rooms whether for humans or animals. Control measures developed for use in human facilities should be equally as applicable in veterinary facilities. Standards should be equally applicable to veterinary and human practices.
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio (unpublished), 40 pages, 24 references