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Control measures necessary for limiting occupational exposures in laser surgical procedures.
Proceedings of the International Laser Safety Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio, November 27-30, 1990. Charscan SS, ed., Orlando, FL: Laser Institute of America, 1991 Jan; :3-3
In response to a request for a health hazard evaluation of possible hazardous working conditions at the Laser Institute at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, Utah a study was made of conditions caused by smoke generated by medical lasers during laser surgery and animal research procedures. Environmental measurements were taken during periods of laser operation. The target material used for the studies was processed meat, as well as human and mouse tissue. Eleven workers were also interviewed. No polynuclear aromatic compounds were detected. Based on the Fourier Transform Infrared analysis, the major component of the samples was a compound or compounds related to fatty acids. Trace amounts of hydrocarbons were detected. The qualitative aldehyde screen revealed detectable levels of formaldehyde (50000) ranging from 0.2 to 0.8 parts per million (ppm). Draeger tube screening revealed hydrogen-cyanide (74908) concentrations of about 100ppm produced at the site of irradiation. Some of the short term peaks contained levels of formaldehyde which could be irritating to sensitive individuals. Anthracene (120127) was present in trace amounts. The findings also suggested that these lasers produced mutagenic airborne particles. The author recommends that ventilation controls be used to minimize the potential for health effects, and that the exhaust outlets of the smoke evacuation units be vented outside the building to prevent recirculation. Personal protective clothing should be worn.
Health-care-personnel; Smoke-control; Smoke-inhalation; Surgeons; Lasers; Toxic-gases; Personal-protective-equipment; Air-quality-monitoring; Occupational-exposure
50-00-0; 74-90-8; 120-12-7
Proceedings of the International Laser Safety Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio, November 27-30, 1990
UT; FL; OH
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division