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Health hazard evaluation report: HHE-79-145-718, St. Joseph Hospital, Denver, Colorado.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHE 79-145-718, 1980 Jul; :1-18
Environmental sampling was performed and an epidemiological survey conducted on November 27 and 28, 1979 at St. Joseph Hospital (SIC- 8062), Denver, Colorado, to determine employee exposure to ethrane (13838169), halothane (151677), and nitrous-oxide (10024972). The request for the evaluation came from the Department of Surgery at the hospital on behalf of approximately 82 workers. Twenty-one of 28 ethrane air samples exceeded the NIOSH exposure limit of 0.5 parts per million (ppm). None of the 28 halothane air samples exceeded the NIOSH limit of 0.5 ppm. About 25 percent of an unspecified number of nitrous-oxide breathing zone air samples exceeded the NIOSH limits of 25.0 ppm. Forty-six percent of the survey respondents reported one or more acute symptoms including fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, cough, and skin irritation. Menstrual irregularities were reported by 13 females. Five respondents reported kidney disease history, and four reported liver disease history. Of 49 reported pregnancies, 2 stillbirths and 5 miscarriages were reported. The author concludes that a hazard exists from overexposure to ethrane and nitrous-oxide. He recommends that annual physical examinations be provided for all workers, that an alternative disinfecting agent to reduce skin sensitization be used, and that slip connections on the gas tanks be routinely checked.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-79-145-718; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Health-care-facilities; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-8; Medical-personnel; Workplace-studies; Gases; Anesthetics; Medical-services; Air-sampling; Clinical-symptoms; Control-methods; Author Keywords: anesthesiologists; nitrous oxide; ethrane; halothane; surgical procedures
13838-16-9; 151-67-7; 10024-97-2
Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: October 26, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division