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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-209-1245, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.
McManus-KP; Gorman-R; Straub-WE; Singal-M
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 82-209-1245, 1983 Feb; :1-2
Worker exposures to waste anesthetic gases and reports of illness were investigated on May 12 and 13, 1982 at Children's Hospital Medical Center (SIC-8069) in Boston, Massachusetts. The evaluation was requested by an authorized employee representative on behalf of an unspecified number of operating room personnel who had complained of eye irritation, conjunctivitis, and sore throat. General and personal area air samples were analyzed for nitrous-oxide (10024972); personal air samples were analyzed for halothane (151677); and bulk area samples were tested for organic chemicals. Nitrous-oxide concentrations in excess of the NIOSH limit of 25 parts per million (ppm) were found in 13 of 25 personal air samples. Two of four personal samples had halothane concentrations greater than the NIOSH limit of 0.5ppm (for halothane used together with nitrous-oxide). Several organic chemicals were found in bulk samples, but concentrations were not considered significant. The author concludes that about half the operating room staff were exposed to excess amounts of waste anesthetic gases, but these exposures probably did not cause the reported outbreak of conjunctivitis. He recommends repair and adjustment of the scavenging system, and use of careful anesthetic administration techniques.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-82-209-1245; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-1; Hospital-equipment; Anesthesiology; Occupational-exposure; Ventilation; Author Keywords: Specialty Hospitals, except Psychiatric; Pediatric; Hospital; Waste Anesthetic Gases; Nitrous Oxide; Halothane; Conjunctivitis
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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