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Surgical smoke and ultrafine particles

Author(s): Brüske-Hohlfeld Irene | Preissler Gerhard | Jauch Karl-Walter | Pitz Mike | Nowak Dennis | Peters Annette | Wichmann H-Erich

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 31;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract Background Electrocautery, laser tissue ablation, and ultrasonic scalpel tissue dissection all generate a 'surgical smoke' containing ultrafine ( 100000 cm-3) of particles in the diameter range of 10 nm to 1 μm. The peak concentration was confined to the immediate local surrounding of the production side. In the presence of a very efficient air conditioning system the increment and decrement of ultrafine particle occurrence was a matter of seconds, with accumulation of lower particle number concentrations in the operation room for only a few minutes. Conclusion Our investigation showed a short term very high exposure to ultrafine particles for surgeons and close assisting operating personnel – alternating with longer periods of low exposure.

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