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Waste Anesthetic Gases

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Possible Solutions

Exposure to waste anesthetic gases can cause serious injury and permanent damage. Workers that may be exposed to these gases need to be aware of the hazards and possible solutions for their work environment. The following references aid in controlling waste anesthetic gas hazards in the workplace.

  • Anesthetic Gases: Guidelines for Workplace Exposures. OSHA, (Revised May 18, 2000). Provides guidelines and controls to help reduce occupational exposure to waste anesthetic gases.
  • OSHA Technical Manual (OTM). OSHA Directive TED 01-00-015 [TED 1-0.15A], (January 20, 1999). Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHO's) use the OTM as a reference for technical information on occupational safety and health issues.
  • Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Waste Anesthetic Gases and Vapors. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 77-140, (March 1977). Describes biological effects, standard recommendations, and exposure limit recommendations for waste anesthetic gases as well as work practice and control procedures to limit exposure.
  • Control of Nitrous Oxide in Dental Operatories. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 96-107, (1996). Identifies hazards of nitrous oxide exposure and outlines control methods to decrease exposure through system maintenance, ventilation, and work practices.
  • Controlling Exposures to Nitrous Oxide During Anesthetic Administration. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-100, (1994). Presents control measures for preventing or greatly reducing exposure to nitrous oxide (N2O) during the administration of anesthetic gas.
  • NIOSH Warns: Nitrous Oxide Continues to Threaten Health Care Workers. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-118, (June 14, 1994). Provides an update warning health professionals that scavenging systems need to be continuously monitoredand maintained to effectively reduce exposure to nitrous oxide.
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