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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-84-204-1600, Dental Health Associates, Paoli, Pennsylvania.
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 84-204-1600, 1985 Jun; :1-12
Area air and breathing zone samples were analyzed for nitrous-oxide (10024972) at Dental Health Associates (SIC-8021), Paoli, Pennsylvania on August 2, 1984. The evaluation was requested by a dental assistant because of general concern about the extent of nitrous-oxide exposure, especially since the office was not equipped with a waste anesthetic gas scavenging system. Breathing zone nitrous-oxide concentrations of two dentists averaged 2,270 and 1,270 parts per million (ppm) during procedures lasting 20 and 11 minutes, respectively. The attending dental assistant received exposures of 670ppm during each procedure. The NIOSH recommended standard for nitrous-oxide is 50ppm. Area air exposures ranged from 30 to 160ppm. Prior to any nitrous-oxide use, a 22ppm background concentration was measured. The author concludes that the high nitrous-oxide exposures constitute a health hazard at the facility. The author recommends installing a waste anesthetic gas scavenging system with a dedicated exhaust. The nitrous-oxide delivery and mixing system should be checked for leaks monthly and work practices for handling nitrous-oxide should be improved.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-84-204-1600; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-3; Dentistry; Breathing; Respirators; Inhalants; Breathing-atmospheres; Author Keywords: Offices of Dentists; Nitrous Oxide; Anesthetic; Gases
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division