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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-89-092-1996, Saint James Hospital, Butte, Montana.
Gunter B; Daniels W; Hales T
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 89-092-1996, 1989 Nov; :1-18
In response to a request from Saint James Hospital (SIC-8062), Butte, Montana, an evaluation was made of exposures to waste anesthetic gases. Air quality was sampled for nitrous-oxide (10024972), isoflurane (26675467), and ethylene-oxide (75218) in the central processing and operating room areas. No employees had indicated any health complaints at the time the study was requested. The purpose of the evaluation was to check the in house monitoring system and tests performed by consultants. The hospital provided a variety of health care services including both inpatient and outpatient surgical services. Analysis of 21 personal breathing zone and general area air samples collected indicated a range of nitrous-oxide concentrations from 2 to 200 parts per million (ppm) with a mean of 23ppm. Three samples exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) of 25ppm. Isoflurane concentrations in five personal and two area air samples ranged from 0.04 to 4.50ppm, with a mean of 1.02ppm. Three of five samples exceeded the NIOSH REL of Concentrations of ethylene-oxide in three area samples were 13.7, 4.3, and 0.2ppm. The personal breathing zone sample was 0.7ppm. These samples exceeded the recommended lowest feasible limit of nitrous-oxide and isoflurane existed in the surgical suites, and that ethylene-oxide was a health hazard to workers in Central Processing. The authors recommend measures for controlling employee exposure to waste anesthetic gases and ethylene-oxide.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-8; HETA-89-092-1996; Hazard-Confirmed; Medical-personnel; Operating-rooms; Anesthetics; Air-quality-monitoring; Author Keywords: General Medical & Surgical Hospital; nitrous oxide; isoflurane; ethrane; halothane; waste anesthetics; scavenging ethylene oxide; sterilization; xylene; laboratory safety
10024-97-2; 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