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Administration of Isoflurane for Animal Anesthesia

May 5, 2014

Isoflurane is commonly used to anesthetize animals.   This induction process can result in workplace exposure of isoflurane to personnel.

Cal/OSHA regulations limit isoflurane workplace exposure to a concentration of 2 ppm for an 8-hour time weighted average.  (

Halogenated anesthetic agents, including Isoflurane, have been associated with health effects such as reproductive toxicity or cognitive impairment, according to a 2007 NIOSH publication on waste anesthetic gases in hospitals.  

Occupational Services, Inc. recommends conducting initial and periodic air monitoring to evaluate personal and area room anesthesia exposure concentrations. 

A preventive maintenance program to conduct leak tests of anesthesia delivery equipment and periodic changing of activated charcoal in the scavenging system, minimizes release of the anesthetic gas to a procedure room.