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Health hazard evaluation determination report: HHE-77-100-468, Porter Memorial Hospital, Denver, Colorado.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 77-100-468, 1978 Feb; :1-15
Environmental breathing zone samples were collected to determine concentrations of halothane (151677), ethrane (13838169) and nitrous- oxide (10024972) in the operating rooms at Porter Memorial Hospital (SIC-8062). Nitrous-oxide samples were collected in 20 liter mylar bags using a vacuum pump operated at 300 cubic centimeters (cc) per minute. These samples were analyzed immediately on the surgical floor by infrared spectrometry. Atmospheric concentrations of halothane, ethrane, and nitrous-oxide indicate that a potential health hazard existed to all three of these anesthetic gases during this evaluation. Since information on adverse health effects due to exposure to halothane, ethrane, and nitrous-oxide are not completely defined, and many unknown factors still exist, recommended permissible levels of exposure are not defined as safe levels but rather as levels which are attainable under current technology. Throughout this evaluation, nitrous-oxide was used in conjunction with either ethrane or halothane. When used in this manner, the recommended standard of 0.5ppm for halogenated anesthetic agents should be followed. Nine out of 34 halothane breathing zone samples exceeded the recommended level of 0.5ppm; 11 out of 34 ethrane breathing zone samples exceeded the recommended level of 0.5ppm. The nitrous-oxide recommended level of 25ppm was exceeded in 24 out of 50 breathing zone samples. The high levels of waste anesthetic gases found during this survey were presumably caused by difficulty in administering the gas to small patients, improperly fitted face masks, and the technique of administration by the anesthesiologist.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Air-sampling; Anesthesia; Air-contamination; Gases; Nitrogen-oxides; Hospital-equipment; Industrial-hygiene; Health-care-facilities; Occupational-health; Medical-personnel; HHE-77-100-468; Region-8; Anesthetics; Hazard-Confirmed; Author Keywords: Halothane; Ethrane; Nitrous Oxide; Waste Anesthetic Gases
151-67-7; 13838-16-9; 10024-97-2
Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division