February/March 2016 (vol. 12/5)

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Research Plus

Anaesthetic gases

A systematic review of 15 included papers found little, and only inconsistent, evidence of the adverse health effects of occupational exposure to anaesthetic gases. No significant adverse effects have been reported at exposures below permitted levels. There is conflicting evidence on the genotoxic effects of isoflurane, with more recent studies failing to show any correlation between genotoxicity and exposure at different levels in either nurses or anaesthetists. One study identified chromosomal abnormalities in hospital staff exposed to isoflurane and sevoflurane, but exposures were above permitted levels. Other studies on sevoflurane show conflicting results for genotoxicity. The review did not identify any useful biomarkers or clinical signs suitable for health surveillance in exposed healthcare workers.



Occupational Health at Work February/March 2016 (vol. 12/5) pp37