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California Department of Public Health Issues Workplace Hazard Update on Isoflurane

LA Testing provides analytical services and diffusion monitors to identify isoflurane and other exposure risks to waste anesthetic gases (WAGs).

Huntington Beach, CA – WEBWIRE

Earlier this year, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) published a Workplace Hazard Update about veterinary worker exposure risks to isoflurane, a commonly used anesthetic gas. Isoflurane is sold under various trade names and is a general anesthetic that is inhaled and can be used to start or maintain anesthesia.

According to the CDPH update, an investigation by the department found high levels of isoflurane in workers’ breathing zones during common veterinary procedures. The document highlights various peak inhalation exposure risks that can occur, including when veterinarians or technicians roll an animal over that is undergoing a procedure. In this example, it occurs when the endotracheal tube is disconnected to reposition the animal while the gas continues to flow. If high exposures like this occur multiple times during a shift, workers could be exposed to isoflurane over the legal limit.

Regarding exposure risks to humans, the CDPH document states: While more study on human exposure is needed, scientists are concerned that evidence from laboratory animal studies points to potential nervous and reproductive system harm in people. It goes on to share information about best practices to minimize these hazards.

“The Cal/OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for isoflurane is 2 parts per million (ppm).” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “It is the maximum level of isoflurane workers are allowed to breathe, averaged over an 8-hour day. Where this anesthetic gas is used, employers are required to measure the level of isoflurane in the air workers breathe to ensure levels are below Cal/OSHA’s regulatory limit. CDPH recommends repeating air monitoring at least twice a year to detect any changes over time.”

One of the leading industrial hygiene and indoor air quality (IAQ) testing laboratories in California that offers isoflurane testing services is LA Testing. With multiple locations across the state, they provide testing for a broad range of waste anesthetic gases along with the necessary diffusion monitoring sampling devices to help ensure workers are not being overexposed and to keep companies in regulatory compliance.

To learn more about testing for isoflurane, other WAGs, or additional occupational and indoor air quality analytical services, please visit, email  or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego and Ontario.

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 Anesthetic Gas
 Occupational Health
 Air Monitoring

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