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Smoke Management

Every year, more than 500,000 OR staff members are exposed to surgical smoke that is generated as a by-product of lasers, electrosurgery, ultrasonic and other heat-generating devices interacting with tissue.

Surgical smoke has been known to cause health problems including headaches, coughing, dizziness, fatigue and bodily irritation. Research suggests surgical smoke may be exposing OR staff to the following aerosolized hazards:1

  • Ethylbenzene
  • Vinylacetylene
  • Xylene
  • Benzene
  • Toulene
  • 1,3-Butadiene
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Acrylonitrile
  • Hydro cyanide

1Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): 200 Constitution Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C. 20210. Available from: URL of the record: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/laserelectrosurgeryplume/index.html


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