The long-term occupational exposure to inhalation anaesthetics might represent a health hazard; mainly it may have an adverse effect on the reproductive outcome. Nitrous oxide is the anaesthetic employed in the largest amount during general anaesthesia and it can be used as an indicator of occupational exposure to all the components the mixture; but if the pattern of dispersion of them (when leaking into the operating theater) are not the same, two indicators should be used: N2O (gas) + another component the mixture (vapour). Our results concern practically 5 points: --Analysis of N2O by means of a diffusive personal sampler (comparison with a conventional sampling method) --Analysis of N2O in urine collected after 4 hours of exposure during routine anaesthetic work (headspace method) --Comparison of environmental and biological data concerning N2O --Comparison of environmental and biological data concerning a component of the anaesthetic mixture, forane --Proposal of biological exposure indices for nitrous oxide and forane. A close relationship between air and urine was found in 363 subjects occupationally exposed to N2O and 45 subjects exposed to forane (r: 0.95 and 0.90 respectively). On the basis of such a relationship the biological exposure index for N2O corresponding to an ambient concentration of 100 ppm (European limit) turned out to be 55 micrograms/L; the ones for forane corresponding to ambient concentrations of 2 or 10 ppm are respectively 3.4 or 14.5 micrograms/L (urinary concentrations in samples collected after 4 hours of exposure).
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro|
|Publication status||Published - May 1987|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health