Béla Tankó, Levente Molnár, Béla Fülesdi and Csilla Molnár
The harmful effect of inhalational anesthetics on the working environment of anesthetists is one of most controversial areas, where speculations can easily arise. In the present review the authors summarize the possible sources of environmental pollution in the operating theatre with special emphasis on the importance of air suctioning and air conditioning systems. A full-spectrum of the previously published animal and human studies is provided about the possible health hazards of inhalational agents including effects on the central nervous, reproductive and hematologic systems, on the liver functions and also on the carcinogenesis. A list of the proposed measures to decrease pollution to the minimum in the operating theatre environment is provided. It is concluded that according to the present knowledge, the use of inhalational agents may be considered safe if the prescribed limits of halogenated anesthesia gases are met.