Safe Use of Isoflurane in Animal Research

Isoflurane is a halogenated anesthetic gas commonly used to anesthetize research animals.  Researcher exposure occurs primarily through the inhalation of waste anesthetic gases (WAGs) that are unintentionally released into the laboratory environment if equipment is not setup or functioning properly or the WAG is not properly exhausted.  Short term overexposure may result in irritation of the eyes, skin and respiratory tract, cough, sore throat, and may impair consciousness and motor skills. Adverse effects on the liver and kidneys are possible as a result of overexposure.  In addition, there is some indication that occupational exposure to WAGs may reduce fertility or harm developing children.

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