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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-86-489-1789, St. James Annex, Butte, Montana.
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 86-489-1789, 1987 Apr; :1-12
An evaluation of exposures to ethrane (13838169) and nitrous-oxide (10024972) was conducted at St. James Annex (SIC-8070) day surgery operating room, in Butte, Montana, in response to a request from the director of nursing. A large number of the surgical procedures performed at the facility were mask inductions, procedures performed without intubation of the patient. General room air samples and breathing zone samples were analyzed for ethrane and nitrous-oxide; three of four samples taken for nitrous-oxide exceeded the evaluation criteria of 25 parts per million (ppm) and all four samples taken for ethrane exceeded the evaluation criteria of 0.5ppm when used with nitrous-oxide. Direct reading measurements did not detect leaks in the anesthesia administering machine, the pop/off valve scavenging system, or other areas of the operating room. The operating room had only about eight to ten air changes per hour. Work related health problems were not revealed by informal interviews with operating room workers. The author concludes that a health hazard exists in the operating room at the facility from exposures to ethrane and nitrous-oxide. The sources of the exposures are waste gases from the mask during induction and insufficient ventilation. The author recommends that the ventilation system be improved to provide an optimum of 20 to 26 air changes per hour, and that air monitoring with passive dosimetry be continued.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HETA-86-489-1789; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-8; Medical-facilities; Air-contamination; Medical-personnel; Nitrogen-oxides; Anesthetics; Author Keywords: Hospitals; surgery; nitrous oxide; ethrane
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: February 7, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division