Modeled occupational exposures to gas-phase medical laser-generated air contaminants

Julia F. Lippert, Steven Lacey, Rachael M. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Exposure monitoring data indicate the potential for substantive exposure to laser-generated air contaminants (LGAC); however the diversity of medical lasers and their applications limit generalization from direct workplace monitoring. Emission rates of seven previously reported gas-phase constituents of medical laser-generated air contaminants (LGAC) were determined experimentally and used in a semi-empirical two-zone model to estimate a range of plausible occupational exposures to health care staff. Single-source emission rates were generated in an emission chamber as a one-compartment mass balance model at steady-state. Clinical facility parameters such as room size and ventilation rate were based on standard ventilation and environmental conditions required for a laser surgical facility in compliance with regulatory agencies. All input variables in the model including point source emission rates were varied over an appropriate distribution in a Monte Carlo simulation to generate a range of time-weighted average (TWA) concentrations in the near and far field zones of the room in a conservative approach inclusive of all contributing factors to inform future predictive models. The concentrations were assessed for risk and the highest values were shown to be at least three orders of magnitude lower than the relevant occupational exposure limits (OELs). Estimated values do not appear to present a significant exposure hazard within the conditions of our emission rate estimates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)722-727
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2 2014


  • emission rates
  • Laser-generated air contaminants
  • LGAC
  • Medical laser
  • two-zone model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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