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NIOSH hazard controls HC29 - hazard control of nitrous oxide during cryosurgery.
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. 99-105, (HC 29), 1999 Jan; :1-3
Compressed gases such as nitrous oxide (N2O) are often used to obtain the cold temperatures needed for cryosurgery. Cryosurgical instruments which use compressed gas are designed to allow the gas to expand through a valve inside the metal tip of the cryosurgical probe, causing the tip to reach extremely low temperatures. If the exhaust gas from the probe is improperly vented, N2O concentrations in air can reach several thousand parts per million during a cryosurgical procedure; and depending on the room ventilation rate, levels may remain elevated for long periods of time following the procedure. Exposures should be minimized to prevent short-term behavioral and long-term reproductive health effects that can be caused by N2O. NIOSH studies have shown that airborne concentrations of N2O from cryosurgical units can be effectively controlled by ventilation and equipment maintenance, and if this is not possible, through substitution with a less hazardous cryogenic gas.
Occupational-hazards; Nitrous-oxides; Gases; Environmental-control; Control-technology; Compressed-gases; Medical-equipment; Ventilation; Operating-rooms; Medical-personnel; Temperature-effects; Behavioral-patterns
Numbered Publication; Hazard Control
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 99-105; HC-29
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division