Rhode Island became the first state to address the issue of surgical smoke with a law that will require all licensed hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities to use a smoke evacuation system for surgical procedures that generate plume, according to an article on the Outpatient Surgery website.
Hospitals are required to report to the R.I. Department of Health within 90 days that they've adopted policies regarding surgical smoke ventilation, the article said.
Each year, an estimated 500,000 workers are exposed to laser or electrosurgical smoke, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
The smoke, also known as plume, includes carbon monoxide, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and a variety of trace toxic gases.
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