265008 Evaluation of isoflurane exposure while performing laboratory research procedures

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Andrea Mulvenon, MS , Department of Envrionmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Chandran Achutan, PhD , Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
John Hauser , Safety Office, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Background The purpose of this study is to assess exposures to isoflurane to dental surgeons and a technician performing an experimental dental procedure on rodents before and after installations of ventilation controls. Isoflurane is a halogenated anesthetic gas and is linked to reproductive problems in women as well as developmental defects in children of exposed women. In this study it was used as an anesthetic for rodents during injections and placement of dental apparatus into the mouth. Methods In the initial assessment, eight full-shift samples were collected using passive badges over a 3-week time period. The dental procedure was performed once a week for approximately 45 minutes each day. Reassessment of isoflurane was conducted after installation of ventilation controls. During the reassessment twelve full-shift samples were collected over a 3-week time period. Results Results show that employees are being exposed to isoflurane above the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommended exposure level of two parts per million. Isoflurane exposures ranged from 3.1 to 29.3 ppm with an average exposure of 15.3 ppm over approximately 45 minutes before installation of ventilation controls. After changes to the ventilation system to initial reassessment has shown a dramatic decrease in isoflurane exposure. The average exposure has decreased to 2.13 ppm over approximately 2 hour, an approximate 86% decrease. Conclusion A significant over exposure of isoflurane was detected to dental surgeons and technician utilizing isoflurane in experimental animal procedures. The exposure was substantially decreased using ventilation controls including a scavenging system.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify sources of isoflurane exposure in the workplace. 2. Describe symptoms and health outcomes of isoflurane and WAG toxicity. 3. Determine appropriate interventions and controls for WAG exposure. 4. Evaluate effectiveness of ventilation controls in reducing isoflurane exposure.

Keywords: Occupational Exposure, Occupational Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student in occupational and environmental health. I conduct workplace investigations of hazardous exposures as part of my training. I am supervised by Dr. Chandran Achutan, who is an industrial hygienist. He has conducted health hazard evaluations with NIOSH for several years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.