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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-86-157-1678, Stag Dental Clinic, Boulder, Colorado.
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 86-157-1678, 1986 Mar; :1-10
Employees of the Stag Dental Clinic (SIC-8021), Boulder, Colorado requested an evaluation of nitrous-oxide (10024972) exposure during dental procedures. Direct reading measurements taken in the dental operatory immediately after nitrous-oxide was administered showed levels exceeding 1000 parts per million (ppm) in the breathing zone of the dentist and his assistant. The levels remained high throughout the 1 hour procedure. The level of nitrous-oxide in the hallway outside the operatory was 300ppm and that in the adjacent operatory, 150ppm (background). General room air in the operatory in use was 800ppm nitrous-oxide. Levels of nitrous-oxide decreased to 50ppm 1.5 hour after the gas was turned off. The current NIOSH recommended time weighted average is 25ppm. The author concludes that a health hazard existed at the dental office due to high exposures of nitrous-oxide. It was recommended that a scavenging system should be installed. Recommendations also included routine maintenance on anesthetic and suction equipment, a follow-up evaluation after the exhaust systems have been in place, advising all dentists and other personnel in the clinic of the adverse health effects present due to nitrous oxide, and use of more dilution ventilation.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HETA-86-157-1678; Hazard-Confirmed; Dentistry; Nitrogen-oxides; Gases; Anesthesia; Region-8; Ventilation-systems; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report;
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division