ILO Home
Go to the home page
Site map | Contact us Français | Español

CISDOC database

Document ID (ISN)103638
CIS number 04-636
ISSN - Serial title 0829-0369 - Travail et santé
Year 2003
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Frenette Y.
Title Surgical smoke: Are you aware of the risks?
Original title Les fumées chirurgicales, connaissez-vous les risques? [in French]
Bibliographic information Dec. 2003, Vol.19, No.4, p.34-39. Illus. 8 ref.
Abstract The use of lasers in surgery is growing rapidly. However, when used on human tissues, these lasers vaporize cells and give rise to what is known as surgical smoke. The presence of viruses and bacteria in this smoke has been confirmed in several studies; furthermore, during the treatment of cancers using lasers, viable cancer cells were also detected. More than 80 chemicals have been found in surgical smoke, many of them harmful. Surgical smoke particles are respirable and can cause emphysema, bronchitis and pneumonia. The article describes a study on the decomposition products detected during laser treatment of pig skin, used for simulating human skin. Finally, the importance of proper ventilation and the use of masks are emphasised.
Descriptors (primary) lasers; smoke; cancer; risk factors; health hazards; biological hazards; health care personnel
Descriptors (secondary) bacteria; viruses; harmful substances; bronchitis; animal experiments; respirable dust; ventilation; particulate removing respirators; pneumonia
Document type D - Periodical articles
Country / State or ProvinceCanada
Subject(s) Commerce, services, offices
Broad subject area(s) Biological hazards
Chemical safety
Browse category(ies) Biological hazards
Health care services
Lasers