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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-86-179-1699, Doctor Levin, Denver, 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 86-179-1699, 1986 May; :1-10
Employees of the Levin dental clinic (SIC-8021), Boulder, Colorado, requested an evaluation of nitrous-oxide (10024972) and mercury (7439976) exposures be made at the clinic. Nitrous-oxide levels measured directly with an infrared gas analyzer showed levels during administration ranging from 0 to greater than 1000 parts per million (ppm). The average level in the dentist's breathing zone during a dental procedure lasting for about 1 hour was 200ppm. Mercury exposure was not found in the dental office or operatories. Interviews with the dentist and two dental assistants did not reveal any medical conditions compatible with exposure to mercury or nitrous-oxide. The author concludes that the dentist in this clinic was overexposed to nitrous-oxide. Recommendations by the author include adjustments to the existing scavenging system and decreased use of nitrous-oxide. It is also recommended that a check be made with the company who installed the scavenging system to determine if the vacuum rate could be increased to 45 liters/minute. All personnel should be made aware of the adverse health effects of overexposure to nitrous-oxide.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-8; Anesthesia; Anesthetics; Dentistry; Medical-personnel; Nitrogen-oxides; HETA-86-179-1699; Hazard-Confirmed; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Author Keywords: office of dentist; nitrous oxide; mercury; dental operatories; waste anesthetic gas
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