A draft summary/review and indexed bibliography on occupational exposures to waste anesthetic gases are presented. The literature was surveyed back to March, 1977 when the NIOSH Criteria Document on waste anesthetic gases was completed. References to enflurane (13838169), fluroxene (406906), halothane (151677), isoflurane (26675467), methoxyflurane (76380(), and nitrous-oxide (10024972) are included. References to chloroform, diethyl-ether, and trichloroethylene were deleted since these substances are no longer used as anesthetic gases. Psychological effects of waste anesthetic gases are discussed. Metabolism of waste anesthetic gases is considered. Epidemiologic studies are reviewed. Two causes for the toxicity of waste anesthetic gases have been proposed: biotransformation and the nature of the anesthesia phenomenon itself. Membrane changes occurring during anesthesia could contribute to faulty cell replication. Chronic effects in animals are discussed. Reproductive effects in laboratory animals are considered. Carcinogenesis studies in animals are described. No consistent carcinogenic effects have been reported in studies involving enflurane, halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, nitrous- oxide, or nitrous-oxide plus halothane. Mutagenic effects are reviewed. Most studies have shown that the commonly used anesthetics are non mutagenic or are weakly mutagenic in microbial assays. Preventing and controlling exposure are discussed. Analytical and sampling methods are listed. Health hazard evaluations that have been conducted are enumerated.
NIOSH, Centers for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 42 pages, 125 references