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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-84-126-1555, Dental Offices, Cincinnati, Ohio.
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 84-126-1555, 1985 Jan; :1-19
Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for nitrous- oxide (10024972) and mercury (7439976) at two dental offices (SIC- 8021) in Cincinnati, Ohio in March, May, and June 1984. The evaluation was requested due to concern about nitrous-oxide exposures in the offices. The first office was equipped with a nitrous-oxide scavenging system. Nitrous-oxide concentrations in the breathing zone of the dentist in the office averaged 350 parts per million (ppm) while the gas was being administered. In other parts of the office, nitrous-oxide concentrations were 20 to 30ppm. There is no current OSHA standard for nitrous-oxide. Breathing zone nitrous-oxide concentrations averaged 1,300ppm during anesthesia in the second office. They ranged from 7 to 182ppm in other areas of the office. Mercury concentrations were below the OSHA standard of nitrous-oxide concentrations in the first office were excessively high due to the ineffectiveness of the scavenging system and equipment malfunction. The author concludes that the high nitrous- oxide exposures in the second office constitute a potential health hazard. Recommendations include discontinuing the use of nitrous- oxide at the second office and properly maintaining and using the scavenging system at the first office.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Dentistry; Region-5; Toxic-gases; Heavy-metals; Air-quality-measurement; Air-contamination; HETA-84-126-1555; Author Keywords: Offices of Dentists; Nitrous Oxide; Mercury; Dental; Anesthetic Gases
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and 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