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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094On-line version ISSN 1806-907X


OLIVEIRA, Carlos Rogério Degrandi. Occupational exposure to anesthetic gases residue. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2009, vol.59, n.1, pp.110-124. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Although the absence of negative effects of prolonged exposure to anesthetic gases residue has been reported, controversies on the subject still linger. Contradictory data on the variability in individual response to different agents can be found in the literature. The objective of this report was to present a review of occupational exposure to anesthetic gases residue. CONTENTS: The results of the main articles on the subject, as well as the causes of contamination of the surgical environment, ventilation, exhaust system, monitoring, and dosage of anesthetic gases residues are discussed. Recommendations to minimize the supposed effects of inhalational agents are emphasized. CONCLUSIONS: Even in task-forces studies of renowned international regulating institutions, there are some controversies on the risks of occupational exposure to anesthetic gases residue. Minimal values for occupational exposure are stipulated, but acknowledging the lack of epidemiological evidence of any type of damage caused by said exposure in places where standard measures of ventilation and exhaust systems and the use of anesthetic equipment are observed. In our country, most of the time those measures are not implemented and, when they are, they are not supervised properly. Besides, differences in techniques and working conditions have to be considered. Taking into consideration the multifactorial nature of the exposure of health care professionals, measures should be undertaken to minimize occupational exposure to agents with known or probable toxic potential. The demand for better equipped operating rooms, with adequate ventilation and exhaust systems as well as their maintenance should be stimulated.

Keywords : ANESTHETICS, Gaseous, volatile; COMPLICATIONS [contamination]; COMPLICATIONS [environmental pollution]; COMPLICATIONS [professional hazards].

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