The hazards of waste anesthetic gases are related to drug selection, pollution concentration and exposure time. Some potential effects of short term exposure to waste anesthetic gases are nausea, dizziness, head- aches, fatigue, and irritability. Long term effects include sterility, miscarriages, birth defects, cancer, liver/ kidney disease, and asphyxia. In addition, animal experiments indicate that anesthetics can cause memory impairment, which is generally believed to be temporary. Normal function recovers within a few days and cognition changes may last for weeks or longer.
In recent years, many projects have been devoted to the study of the correlation between anesthetics and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers found in a vitro experiment that inhaled anesthetics enhance amyloid-beta oligomerization and cytotoxicity, which occurs in the neurons of Alzheimer’s.
Besides, it is observed that anesthetics are associated with the increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines, which leads to neuroinflammation and promotes the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease.
Further researches should be carried out to confirm the clinical relevance of the results of in vitro studies and neurodegenerative complications under anesthesia and / or surgery in order to verify the relationship between anesthesia exhaust gas and Alzheimer’s disease. For medical staff who stay in the operating room all day, they should be self-aware and reduce exposure to anesthetics.
Tips: Currently, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suggests that staff should not be exposed to halide narcotic exhaust gas exceed 1h and the concentration should not exceed 2ppm while not exceed 0.5ppm when used in conjunction with nitrous oxide.