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Occupational exposure to nitrous oxide in dental operatories.

Authors
  • Middendorf, P J
  • Jacobs, D E
  • Smith, K A
  • Mastro, D M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Anesthesia progress
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1986
Volume
33
Issue
2
Pages
91–97
Identifiers
PMID: 3459383
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Occupational exposures to nitrous oxide (N(2)0) were measured in numerous dental operatories. In all cases, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommended time-weighted average (for one operation) of 25 ppm was exceeded by wide margins (NIOSH considers 50 ppm to be attainable in dental operatories). However, a new risk assessment is necessary to determine appropriate exposure limits. Many of the operatories were not equipped with scavenging systems and none of them used a scavenging device in combination with a local exhaust ventilation system. Scavenging devices and local exhaust ventilation should be used to control nitrous oxide exposures. Leaks in N(2)0 delivery systems, which were found to be commonplace, should also be controlled. Research and development efforts are needed to improve upon the already existing scavenging devices, and provision for local exhaust ventilation needs to be included in the design of dental operatories.

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