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HHE determination report no. HHE-80-56-743, St. Anthony's 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 80-56-743, 1980 Sep; :1-21
Environmental and epidemiological surveys were conducted on March 11 and 12, 1980, to evaluate potential overexposures of nitrous-oxide (10024972), ethrane (13838169), and halothane (151677) in the Department of Surgery at St. Anthony's Hospital (SIC-8070) in Denver, Colorado. The evaluation was requested by the employees on behalf of the approximately 92 affected employees. Ethrane concentrations ranged from 0.01 to 1.6 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the NIOSH standard of 0.5 ppm; halothane ranged from 0.01 to 0.4 ppm, below the NIOSH standard of 0.5 ppm; and nitrous oxide ranged from 5 to 128 ppm, exceeding the NIOSH standard of 25 ppm. Twenty five operating room personnel and 15 recovery room workers reported one or more acute symptoms. Recovery room workers commonly reported headache, light headedness, dizziness, and fatigue. Thirteen operating room females reported menstrual irregularities, while no such problems were reported by recovery room females. Five operating room workers reported kidney or liver disease histories; four reported disease histories were found among recovery room workers. The author concludes that a health hazard existed in the operating rooms from exposures to ethrane and nitrous oxide. He recommends that all workers have annual physical examinations, that any worker experiencing skin irritation associated use of iodine disinfectant use an alternative disinfecting agent, that high pressure nitrous oxide connections be checked periodically, and that air monitoring be continued.
NIOSH-Author; HHE-80-56-743; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-8; Health-surveys; Epidemiology; Anesthetics; Medical-personnel; Medical-monitoring; Health-care-facilities; Air-sampling; Author Keywords: anesthesiologist; nitrous oxide; ethrane; halothane
10024-97-2; 13838-16-9; 151-67-7
Field Studies; Health Hazard Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division