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Technical Assistance Report No. TA-78-62, Louisiana State University, School of Dentistry, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, TA 78-62, 1979 Feb; :1-11
Environmental and personal air samples were analyzed at the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry (SIC-8221), New Orleans, on October 2 and 3, 1978, to determine exposures to toxic concentrations of nitrous-oxide (10024972), mercury (7439976) vapor, and formaldehyde (50000). The evaluation was requested by the safety director on behalf of an unidentified number of dental students and school employees. Exposure to nitrous-oxide was studied by infrared analysis. A direct reading device evaluated mercury contamination and detector tubes evaluated formaldehyde. Nitrous-oxide environmental concentrations were less than 3.0 parts per million (ppm), but personal sample concentrations in the senior dental clinic ranged from 38 to 132ppm. The NIOSH recommended criteria for nitrous-oxide is 25ppm. The anesthesia/analgesia machine had numerous nitrous-oxide leaks. Mercury vapor concentrations in the Participation Clinic generally were less than standard of 0.1mg/Cu m. Formaldehyde concentrations generally were less than 1.0ppm, below the OSHA standard of 3.0ppm. The investigators conclude that some dental students and school employees still were being exposed to excessive concentrations of nitrous-oxide, even though a waste anesthetic gas scavenging system had been installed recently. They recommend the installation of a separate high vacuum scavenging line, regular preventive maintenance, frequent leak testing of anesthesia equipment, and an inhouse nitrous-oxide air monitoring program.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; TA-78-62; Region-6; Hazards-Confirmed; Air-sampling; Health-surveys; Anesthetics; Industrial-hygiene
10024-97-2; 7439-97-6; 50-00-0
Field Studies; Technical Assistance
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