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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-81-111-1471, Stephen Gold, D.D.S., Port Jefferson Station, New York.

Behrens V
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 81-111-1471, 1984 May; :1-19
In response to a request from two doctors of dental surgery, an evaluation was made of possible hazardous exposures to nitrous-oxide (10024972) at the Stephen Gold, DDS, dental clinic (SIC-8021), Port Jefferson Station, New York. Breathing zone and area samples were collected and showed nitrous-oxide concentrations ranging from 30 to over 1000 parts per million (ppm), the upper limit of detection of the analytical method used. When the patients were observed to be quiet, the levels of nitrous-oxide in the room air and breathing samples of the health care workers were generally lower than in cases where the patients were crying and moving. When one of the operatories was not used in the morning, the nitrous-oxide concentration in the room was still 60ppm. Concentrations in a storage room next to an occupied operatory reached 60 to 80ppm. There was no air circulation in this dental clinic except at times when the air conditioning was operating. Levels of mercury (7439976) on badges left in the amalgamation areas were within NIOSH recommended limits. The author concludes that personnel in this dental clinic are overexposed to nitrous-oxide. The author recommends that a special ventilation system be installed to bring in fresh outside air and exhaust contaminated room air. The use of alternatives to nitrous-oxide anesthesia should be investigated. A nitrous-oxide scavenging system should be installed in the less frequently used dental operatory. Connections on the anesthesia system components should be secure and checked regularly. The nosepiece should be positioned on the patient before being turned on. Conversation with the patient should be minimized and they should be encouraged to breathe only through the nose.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-81-111-1471; Region-2; Hazard-Confirmed; Dentists; Dentistry; Air-quality-measurement; Vapors; Toxic-gases; Anesthetics; Author Keywords: Offices of Dentists; nitrous oxide; dental operatories; waste anesthetic gases
10024-97-2; 7439-97-6
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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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