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Request for assistance in controlling exposures to nitrous oxide during anesthetic administration.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-100, 1994 Apr; :1-11
Control measures for preventing or significantly reducing exposure to nitrous-oxide (10024972) (N2O) while administering anesthetic gases were discussed. Health effects of exposure to N2O were reviewed. A large population of dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists practicing in the United States may be potentially exposed to N2O during the course of their employment. About 35% of all dentists have been reported to use N2O in their patients. Pediatric dentists using N2O increased from 65% in 1980 to 88% in 1988. The recommended exposure limit set by NIOSH for N2O was 25 parts per million (ppm) during anesthetic administration. Recommendations for safety included: monitoring airborne concentrations of N2O; implementing appropriate engineering controls; establishing good work practices and maintenance procedures; educating workers as to the standard operating procedures for all tasks that may allow exposure to N2O to occur; educating workers about proper practices, controls, equipment and protective equipment that should be used; and using guidelines to minimize exposure to N2O. Engineering controls included anesthetic delivery systems, scavenging systems, and room ventilation equipment which will enable the workers to perform their tasks without hazardous N2O exposures.
NIOSH-Author; Health-care-personnel; Dentistry; Toxic-gases; Anesthesiology; Veterinary-medicine; Air-quality-monitoring; Anesthetics; Occupational-exposure; Personal-protective-equipment; Respiratory-protection
Numbered Publication; Alert
NTIS Accession No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-100
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