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Technical Assistance Report No. TA-78-56, St. Mary's Hospital, Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
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 78-56, 1979 Jan; :1-13
Environmental and personal air samples were analyzed and ventilation was monitored in operating rooms and central supply cleaning areas of St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, on September 11 to 13, 1978, to determine employee exposures to toxic concentrations of waste anesthetic gases and vapors and sterilization gases. The evaluation was requested by the management to determine the potential exposure of 28 medical and support personnel. Nitrous- oxide (10024972) was detectable only when the scavenging system was disconnected from the anesthesia circuit. Concentrations exceeded the NIOSH recommended standard of 25 parts per million (ppm) at this time. Halogenated gases were not detectable except in one enflurane (13838169) sample collected while the breathing circuit was not properly connected to the scavenging system. Ethylene-oxide (75218) was detectable only in a sample that was collected during the sterilization process while the unit was opened. Operating room ventilation exceeded NIOSH recommendations of 5 fresh air changes per hour and 25 total air changes per hour. The investigators note that the NIOSH recommended criteria for halogenated gases is 2.0ppm, and the OSHA standard for ethylene-oxide is 50ppm. They conclude that employees were not exposed to excessive concentrations of anesthetic and sterilization gases but recommend monitoring ethylene- oxide concentrations.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; TA-78-56; Region-5; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Air-sampling; Health-surveys; Health-care-facilities; Anesthetics; Air-contamination
10024-97-2; 13838-16-9; 75-21-8
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