May 18, 2022

Nitrous oxide, often referred to as laughing gas, is an inhaled anesthetic that has been safely used in dental and medical procedures around the world since 1844. Because of its ease of use and quick action, nitrous oxide continues to be one of the most popular methods of sedation during dental treatments, including those that involve deep cleaning, wisdom teeth removal, and implants or tooth extractions. 

Despite its popularity and effectiveness in keeping patients calm during procedures, nitrous oxide comes with its own set of risks and side effects that should not be ignored by both patients and medical professionals alike. In fact, a study published by the National Library of Medicine indicated “significant exposure of person working in substandard ORs in CH – Shtip were TWA reach up to 12 times above the highest recommended exposure values.”

Considering the gravity of the situation, here’s everything you should know about nitrous oxide exposure. 

What Is Nitrous Oxide, and What is it Used For?

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a commonly used analgesic. It is a colorless, odorless gas and has been used in surgery for centuries to relieve pain during medical procedures. Because it is widely available and relatively inexpensive, nitrous oxide can be found in hospitals and dentist offices worldwide. In some countries, however, it is illegal to use nitrous oxide outside of a medical setting. This gas isn’t without risk, though; if you are exposed to too much, it could cause serious side effects or even death. 

What are the Hazards of Nitrous Oxide Exposure?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified nitrous oxide as a general anesthetic that should only be used in dental or medical settings. While it is not flammable, nitrous oxide still poses significant risks to people who handle it without proper training and equipment. With too much nitrous oxide in a room, you may begin to lose consciousness, which can be deadly if you use nitrous oxide along with another drug that depresses your central nervous system, such as ketamine. 

In addition to displacing oxygen from your bloodstream, exposure to high levels of nitrous oxide can cause pain in your chest and damage to your blood vessels (known as vasodilation). The decreased oxygen in your bloodstream caused by these side effects is more likely than the lack of oxygen to kill you when using nitrous oxide for recreational purposes.

Why is Nitrous Oxide Testing Crucial Upon Exposure?

It’s essential to undergo Nitrous Oxide testing when you suspect exposure to the gas because symptoms might not occur for as long as 48 hours after breathing the gas. A convenient and cost-effective way to measure nitrous oxide (N2O or “laughing gas”) exposure in the workplace is through a testing kit and nitrous oxide monitoring badges. These badges can be worn near the breathing zone to measure personal exposure or placed in a room to measure area concentration.

Are you looking for nitrous oxide testing kits for your facility? Get in touch with us to place your order! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, MTS has various partnerships with a number of medical gas installation contractors. Each sub contractor employees qualifying ASSE 6010 Medical Gas Installers ready to meet your needs.
A Medical Gas Certification (Also called a medical gas verification) is an NFPA required inspection and approval of newly installed medical gas delivery systems. All newly in installed medical gas pipeline and equipment must be certified by an ASSE 6030 before use.
Answer: Per NFPA guidelines, it is a requirement for any facilities using medical grade gases for the purpose of human consumption to have their gas delivery systems inspected by and ASSE 6040. Read more about Medical Gas Inspections Here.
Answer: Yes, MTS provides annual medical gas inspections. We provide discounts on Annual Inspections when you sign multi year contracts. Read more about Medical Gas Inspections Here.
Answer: The Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board issues medical gas piping certification to medical gas system installers who possess valid certification from the National Inspection Testing Certification Corporation or NITC. Certification from other organizations may be considered with approval of the board.
Yes, we can adapt any fittings to the desired hosing for any medical grade gas. High pressure gases such as Nitrogen can also be accommodated.
Yes, Those items for shipment to countries outside of the U.S. may be subject to taxes, customs duties and fees levied by the destination country (“Import Fees”). The recipient of the shipment is the importer of record in the destination country and is responsible for all Import Fees.
With respect to each item for which Import Fees have been calculated, you authorize Export or Merchant (as applicable) to designate a carrier (“Designated Carrier”) to act as your agent with the relevant customs and tax authorities in the destination country, to clear your merchandise, process and remit your actual Import Fees for such item.
Import Fees Deposit” represents an estimate of the Import Fees that will be levied on the items in your order for shipment to countries outside of the U.S. By placing your order, you agree to allow Export and/or Merchant (as applicable) to collect the Import Fees Deposit for the applicable items in your order. This deposit will be used, on your behalf, to reimburse the Designated Carriers for the import fees that they have paid on your behalf to the appropriate authorities of the destination country.
Answer: Per NFPA guidelines, it is a requirement for any facilities using medical grade gases for the purpose of human consumption to have their gas delivery systems inspected by and ASSE 6040. Read more about Medical Gas Inspections Here.

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MTS is an ASSE 6030© Licensed medical gas verification company and providing NFPA code compliant medical gas certification services all across the U.S.

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MTS is an ASSE 6020© Licensed medical gas inspection service company, providing annual inspections on medical gas systems throughout the U.S.

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MTS provides medical gas systems installations per the NFPA 99  using our certified ASSE 6010© Licensed medical gas plumbers all across the U.S.

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MTS is an ASSE 6040© Licensed medical gas maintenance company providing the highest quality medical gas maintenance services all across the U.S.

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