Waste Anesthetic Gases

Hazard Recognition

Many health care workers are unaware of the potential health hazards associated with waste anesthetic gases in their work environment. This makes them more vulnerable to illness. The following references provide information and guidance about anesthetic gases and workplace exposures. Sampling and analytical methods are also covered.

  • 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.
  • Nitrous Oxide. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety & Health Topic.
Sampling and Analysis
  • OSHA Occupational Chemical Database. OSHA's premier one-stop shop for occupational chemical information. It compiles information from several government agencies and organizations. Information available on the pages includes chemical identification and physical properties, exposure limits, sampling information, and additional resources. Some of the chemicals relevant to anesthetics are listed below:

For additional information, see OSHA's Sampling and Analysis Safety and Health Topics Page.