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Occupational Disease Among Operating Room Personnel A National Study.

Cohen EN; Brown BW; Bruce DL; Cascorbi HF; Corbett TH; Jones TW; Whitcher CE
American Society of Anesthesiologists 1975 Jan:55 pages
A national study of occupational disease among operating room personnel was conducted by mailing questionnaires to 49,585 exposed operating room personnel in four professional societies and to 23,911 unexposed individuals in two professional societies serving as a comparison group. The results indicate that female members in the operating room exposed group were subject to an increased risk of spontaneous abortion, congenital abnormalities in their children, cancer, and liver and kidney disease. This increased risk of congenital abnormalities was also present among the unexposed wives of male operating room personnel. No increase in cancer was found among the exposed males, but an increased incidence of liver disease was found similar to that in the females. Although the present study does not establish a cause-effect relationship between the increase in these diseases and exposure to the waste anesthetic gases in the operating room, considerable evidence in the experimental animal suggests such an anesthetic interrelationship. It is therefore reasonable to assume that this relationship may also apply to the clinical situation. In consideration of the potential health hazards involved a strong recommendation is made for the venting of waste anesthetic gases in all anesthetizing locations.
Contract-099-73-0003; NIOSH-Contract; Anesthesiology; Anesthesia; Epidemiology; Surgery;
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American Society of Anesthesiologists
Page last reviewed: January 14, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division