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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-94-0227-2448, D. Kurtzman, DDS, Atlanta, Georgia.
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, HETA 94-0227-2448, 1994 Aug; :1-20
In response to a request from the dental office of D. Kurtzman, DDS (SIC-8021), Atlanta, Georgia, an investigation was begun of possible exposure to nitrous-oxide (10024972) (N2O) and glutaraldehyde (111308). Workers at the site included two full time and two part time dental hygienists, two receptionists, and one dental assistant in addition to a full time dentist. Activities on site included routine dental hygiene and more extensive dental work. The investigation revealed that during a 1 hour root canal operation where NO2 was used, the dentist performing the procedure was exposed to an average N2O concentration of 900 parts per million (ppm) with a range of 221 to 3,860ppm. The dental hygienist was exposed to an average N2O concentration of 246ppm. General dental office levels ranged from 7.5 to 97ppm after the N2O had been dispensed and 0.5 to 6.5ppm prior to dispensing the gas. Leaks in the N2O delivery system were noted during monitoring prior to N2O administration. Monitoring in a common area outside the dental office found detectable levels of N2O ranging from 11 to 48ppm. The scavenging systems, though operating near the recommended levels, were not always used. Glutaraldehyde was found in two area samples at concentrations below the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Level (REL) of 0.2ppm. The author concludes that N2O levels exceeded the REL (25ppm) during all activities. The author recommends that exposures to N2O be reduced through the use of ventilation and improved work practices.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-94-0227-2448; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-4; Dentistry; Toxic-gases; Anesthesia; Occupational-exposure; Nitrogen-oxides; Disinfectants; Author Keywords: Offices and Clinics of Dentists; nitrous oxide; waste anesthetic gas; glutaraldehyde; ventilation; scavengers
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