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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-013-1803, West Seattle Community Hospital, Seattle, Washington.
Gunter BJ; Daniels WJ
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 87-013-1803, 1987 Jun; :1-17
In response to a request from an authorized representative of West Seattle Community Hospital (SIC-8062), Seattle, Washington, concerning exposure to waste anesthetic gases during surgical procedures, an evaluation was made in the operating rooms (ORs). Measurements were taken in three ORs, in the recovery room and in the OR reception area for nitrous-oxide (10024972) (N2O), ethrane (13838169), halothane (151677), and isoflurane (26675467). Measurements were also taken for ethylene-oxide (75218) (EtO). Of 15 samples taken and tested for NO2, five exceeding the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit of 25 parts per million (ppm). Isoflurane was found in all 12 personal and area air samples at concentrations from 0.09 to 1.96ppm. Ethrane was present in three of 12 samples at concentrations from 0.36 to 0.96ppm. Halothane was below the limit of detection. Isoflurane was detected in a personal sample from the recovery room and in the area sample from the OR reception area at concentrations of 0.69 and 0.65ppm, respectively. EtO levels ranged from 0.02 to 0.11ppm. The authors conclude that a hazard did exist specifically in relation to overexposures to N2O, ethrane, and isoflurane. The authors recommend inspection and maintenance of supply hoses and connections, inspection of the gas delivery system for wear and leakage, periodic air monitoring, informing employees of toxicological information relating to these chemicals, and inspection and possibly modification of the ventilation system.
NIOSH-Author; Region-10; HETA-87-013-1803; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Confirmed; Inhalants; Anesthesiology; Ventilation-systems; Air-quality-monitoring; Author Keywords: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; Nitrous oxide; ethrane; halothane; isoflurane; ethylene oxide; halogenated anesthetics; scavenging
10024-97-2; 13838-16-9; 151-67-7; 26675-46-7; 75-21-8
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division