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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-84-046-1584, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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 84-046-1584, 1985 Apr; :1-24
Personal and area air samples were analyzed for ethylene-oxide (75218) and waste anesthetic gases at Hennepin County Medical Center (SIC-8062), Minneapolis, Minnesota in February, April, and July, 1984. The survey was requested by the center to evaluate health problems among employees. Medical questionnaires were administered and interviews were conducted with 59 employees in the instrument and operating room areas of the ear, nose, and throat, and surgery clinics. Ethylene-oxide was not detected during operation of the sterilizer. A transient ethylene-oxide concentration of 12.9 parts per million (ppm) was detected in the adjacent mechanical access room. The OSHA standard for ethylene-oxide is 1.0ppm. Nitrous- oxide (10024972) concentrations of 66 to 138ppm were detected during surgical procedures. The NIOSH standard for nitrous-oxide is 25ppm. Personal exposures of halogenated anesthetic gases ranged from 0.44 to 3.2ppm. The NIOSH standard for halogenated anesthetic gases used with nitrous-oxide is 0.5ppm. Most of the health complaints were related to poor air quality; headaches and nose or eye irritation were reported most frequently. The authors conclude that a health hazard due to exposure to waste anesthetic gases exists at the center. Recommendations include evaluating the ventilation system and conducting additional monitoring for waste anesthetic gases.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Region-5; Medical-facilities; Quantitative-analysis; Air-monitoring; Respiration; Air-sampling; HETA-84-046-1584; Author Keywords: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; Hospitals; Anesthetic Gases; Ethylene Oxide; Air Quality
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