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Waste anesthetic gas and vapor exposures in veterinary hospitals and clinics.
Ruby DL; Buchan RM; Gunter BJ
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1980 Mar; 41(3):229-232
Waste anesthetic gases and vapors were measured at 28 veterinary hospitals and clinics in Colorado. Private veterinary practices were selected based on size of animals treated, and geographic location. Overall usage of inhalation anesthetics was 80.8 percent, but varied with type of practice; small animal practices used inhalation anesthetics to the greatest degree, and usage decreased as the number of large animals treated increased. Methoxyflurane (76380) concentrations during small animal surgeries averaged less than 2.0 parts per million (ppm). Limited data from halothane (151677) and nitrous-oxide (10024972) usage indicated average concentrations of less than 5.0 and 35.0ppm, respectively. Small animal veterinarians and their assistants were exposed to inhalation anesthetics for an average of 5 to 10 hours a week. A single large animal surgery revealed breathing zone halothane concentrations in the range of 10 to 20ppm, however large animal veterinarians and their assistants used inhalation anesthesia less than 5 hours per week. The authors conclude that exposures of veterinary personnel to waste anesthetic gases and vapors were substantially less than their counterparts in human hospitals. They recommend the use of scavenging systems to minimize exposures until more definitive evidence concerning possible deleterious effects become available.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Hospitals; Medical-personnel; Anesthetics; Toxic-substances; Work-environment; Air-contamination; Air-sampling; Medical-equipment
Microbiology Colorado State University Department of Microbiology Fort Collins, Colo 80523
76-38-0; 151-67-7; 10024-97-2
Issue of Publication
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
Page last reviewed: December 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division