- Safety and Health Topics
- Laser/Electrosurgery Plume
This section highlights OSHA standards, letters of interpretation (official letters of interpretation of the standards), and national consensus standards related to laser/electrosurgery plume hazards.
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
- 1910 Subpart I, Personal protective equipment [related topic page]
- 1910.134, Respiratory protection. Paragraph (a)(1) states the primary objective is to control occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful substances. This is to be accomplished through accepted engineering controls if feasible, or through the use of appropriate respirators. Note: Surgical masks used to prevent contamination of the patient are not certified for respiratory protection of medical employees. [related topic page]
- 1910 Subpart Z, Toxic and hazardous substances [related topic page]
- 1910.1030, Bloodborne pathogens. Paragraph (d)(3)(i) states the employer must supply appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, masks and eye protection. This standard would apply if such items become contaminated with viable bloodborne pathogens from laser smoke or plume. [related topic page]
Letters of Interpretation
- Hazards of Smoke Generated from Surgical Procedures. (April 18, 1996). Addresses questions about laser smoke hazards and OSHA requirements.
Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has developed several standards relating to laser hazards and non-beam hazards. They are recognized as a minimum standard for laser safety.
- Z136.1-2007, Safe Use of Lasers, (2007).
- Z136.3-2005, Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care Facilities, (2005).