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Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

, 28:30

First Online: 07 July 2016Received: 14 September 2015Accepted: 27 June 2016DOI: 10.1186-s40557-016-0116-1

Cite this article as: Pichelin, M., Billoet, C. & Caillibotte, G. Ann of Occup and Environ Med 2016 28: 30. doi:10.1186-s40557-016-0116-1


BackgroundComputational fluid dynamics CFD has been used to compute nitrous oxide N2O levels within a room during the administration of an equimolar mix of N2O-oxygen EMONO in the clinical setting. This study modelled realistic scenarios of EMONO usage in hospital or primary care, in order to estimate the potential N2O exposure of healthcare professionals HCP with routine EMONO use and to provide guidance for EMONO users.

MethodsSixteen scenarios were defined by carrying out a survey of practitioners. CFD simulations were performed for each scenario and N2O concentrations over time were calculated. N2O exposures time-weighted average of concentration over 8 h TWA-8 h were calculated at the HCPs’ mouth to be compared with a predefined occupational exposure limit OEL.

ResultsAdministration duration and ventilation type were the main factors influencing N2O levels; ventilation type also influenced wash-out time between EMONO administrations. N2O concentration showed a plume distribution towards the ceiling and was highly heterogeneous, highlighting the importance of measurement location. Although estimated TWA-8 h varied widely, 13 of the 16 scenarios had an N2O TWA-8 h of <100 parts per million.

ConclusionsData demonstrate that EMONO usage in well ventilated rooms – as recommended – helps to ensure that N2O exposure does not exceed the OEL and does not signal any major risks for HCPs when recommendations are followed. Although these data are numerical simulations and should be considered as such, they can provide guidance for EMONO users.

Keywords3D numerical simulation Equimolar mix of nitrous oxide N2O-oxygen O2 Occupational exposure limit  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Marine Pichelin - Catherine Billoet - Georges Caillibotte


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