Case study a novel approach to scavenging anesthetic gases in rodent surgery

James Couch, Jeffrey C. Nesbitt, Dale A. Krageschmidt, Michael C. Blanco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Laboratory animal procedures using gas anesthetics may amass elevated waste gas concentrations in operating rooms if controls are not implemented for capturing and removing the vapors. Area sampling using an infrared analyzer indicated isoflurane concentrations likely to exceed occupational exposure guidelines. Our study showed environmental concentrations of oxygen as high as 40% and isoflurane concentrations > 100 ppm when no controls or merely passive controls were utilized. These extraneous isoflurane emissions were determined to be originating from the pre-procedural induction process as well as the gas delivery nose cone. A novel waste gas collection cylinder was designed to enclose the gas delivery nose cone and animal head during the administration of anesthetic gases. The vented cylinder utilized a house vacuum to remove the waste anesthetic gases from the surgical field. A commercially available induction chamber designed to be actively and externally exhausted was used to lower concentrations during the induction process. With implementation of local exhaust ventilation controls, waste anesthetic gas concentrations decreased to below recommended occupational exposure levels. In vitro (sham) testing compared favorably to in vivo measurements validating the reduction capability of active ventilation during rodent anesthetic administration. In vivo isoflurane reductions for the induction chamber emissions, the operating room, and the surgeon's breathing zone were 95%, 60%, and 53%, respectively. The same measurements for an in vitro procedure were 98%, 84%, and 87%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)D125-D131
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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