Nitrous oxide (N2o) in urine as biological index of exposure in operating room personnel

M. Lmbriani, S. Ghittori, G. Pezzagno, E. Capodaglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concentration of nitrous oxide (N2O) in urine was determined in 145 subjects (anesthetists, surgeons, and nurses) in operating theaters. The time-weighted average environmental concentration of N2O (breathing zone) was measured by means of personal passive samplers. The analyses were performed by the head space method, using a Hewlett-Packard 5880 A gas chromatograph with a Hewlett-Packard 5970 A Mass Selective Detector. A significant correlation was found between the N2O concentration in urine produced during the shift (Cū, μg/L) and N2O environmental concentration (Cī, ppm) (Cū = 0.582 Cī + 5.47; r = 0.89). The results show that the urinary concentration can be used as an appropriate biological exposure indicator. The authors suggest a Biological Exposure Index (BEI) of 55 μg/L of N2O in urine. This is the biological value obtained after four hours of an average environmental exposure to 100 ppm.© Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Industrial Hygiene
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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