The Dangers of Regular Exposure to WAG

One thing all peer reviewed publications and personnel from veterinary hospitals and research facilities agree on is: users should do as much as possible to reduce their risk of exposure to WAG.

All halogenated agents are classified as potent central nervous system depressants. Exposure to halogenated agents in the workplace increases the risk of addiction by sensitizing the reward pathways in the brain, promoting substance use. To learn more about how WAG affects you in your workplace, follow the links below.

In 2011 Janet partnered with Dr. Melissa Dyson and the University of Michigan OSEH to perform several experiments demonstrating the effectiveness of an early prototype of an evacuation system. The end result was this published paper: "Flushing Induction Chambers Used for Rodent Anesthesia to Reduce Waste Anestetic Gas". The paper demonstrates that flushing the chamber does not interfere with the ability of the activated charcoal to absorb WAG. The time to evacuate the chamber did not interfere with the recovery time following induction. The position of the activated charcoal canister directly affects the absorption of WAG (always place canisters vertically with nothing blocking the vent).

Click to learn more

This article (below) is particularly interesting to those using induction chambers as it explains the reason for a long and stressful induction time:

The authors of this article demonstrate: when filling an induction chamber using traditional methods, anesthetic gas does not fill the chamber uniformly, attenuating the effects of anesthetic induction. Anesthetic gas fills the chamber at various levels throughout the chamber. This causes the animal to search for the area in the chamber where they find the lease amount of anesthetic gas (e.g., the top corner of the chamber). It can take as long as 7 minutes for the top portion of an induction chamber to reach 3% isoflurane, resulting in a delayed and stressful induction.

Induction of anaesthesia with halothane and isoflurane in the rabbit: a comparison of the use of a face-mask or an anaesthetic chamber. P.A. Flecknell, I.J. Cruz, J.G. Liles & G. Whelan. Laboratory Animals (1996) 30, 67-74

(Note the word anesthesia is spelled as it is printed in the publication.)

In the following publication (below), liquid isoflurane was injected into a vaporization tray mounted to the interior surface of the chamber lid. Their results indicate a significantly shorter interval until recumbency and a smoother induction. Although this was not discussed by the authors of this paper, we believe it demonstrates; when anesthetic gas is introduced to the chamber in a way that disrupts the flow into the chamber, the chamber is immersed with anesthetic gas efficiently and quickly.

This paper is not available for free download

Comparison of anesthetic induction in cats by use of isoflurane in an anesthetic chamber with a conventional vapor or liquid injection technique. Renee D. Schmid, DVM; David S. Hodgson, DVM, DACVA; Rose M. McMurphy, DVM, DACVA, DACVECC. July 2008 Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 233(2):262-6

Additional Resources

Downloads

This paper was published following development of the first prototype of the Induction Chamber Evacuation system. The first prototype was fashioned of a small, hand held, vacuum cleaner. The small collection bag was removed, this became a blower. The blower was connected to plastic tubing and linked into the induction chamber anesthetic system. When turned on, the blower would flush WAG from a small induction chamber (1 - 5 liters, like those used for rats and mice in medical research). In this paper we demonstrated that using a flushing system to remove WAG from an induction chamber, did not alter the time to recovery when the animal was removed from the chamber. We also demonstrated that using a flushing system did not alter the effectiveness of an activated charcoal filter. Additionally, we demonstrated when activated charcoal canisters, with vents at the bottom, were placed on their sides the activated charcoal would settle, creating dead space within the canister. Waste gas would follow the path of least resistance, enter the canister, pass through the dead space, and exit the canister unchanged.

The evacuation system became more efficient when the design changed to removing WAG from the induction chamber with a vacuum. We worked with The University of Michigan's OSEH. We measured less than 2ppm of WAG in air samples collected 2cm over the opened lid, after filling and evacuating with a vacuum. We did not publish results.

For information on the risk of increased risk of addiction:

Risk of addition may be increased dramatically by unintentional exposure in the workplace to potent substances that sensitize the brain.

Anesthetic Gases: Guidelines for Workplace Exposures

A case report of personal exposures to isoflurane during animal anesthesia procedures

Evaluation of waste isoflurane gas exposure during rodent surgery in an Australian university

Research Studies on the Dangers of WAG

As early as 1967 there were reports from the Soviet Union, Denmark, and the United States (Vaisman 1967; Askrog and Petersen 1970; Cohen, Bellville, and Brown 1971) that exposure to anesthetic agents including halothane may cause adverse pregnancy outcomes in health-care personnel.

One (Popova et al. 1979) reported fetal resorption in rats at 9 parts per million.

Several animal studies in rats, mice and hamsters showed embryolethal and teratogenic effects and supported the findings in humans (Basford and Fink 1968; Wharton et al. 1979) ), although often at quite high concentrations (3000-6000 ppm which would not be an unexpected result of opening a 7 or 10 gallon induction chamber such as those used for cats and rabbits).

Discussion on exposure to waste anesthetic gas in the workplace continues to be an interesting topic for publication:

A case report of personal exposures to isoflurane during animal anesthesia procedures. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2018 Feb;15(2):99-104. doi: 10.1080/15459624.2017.1388919

Isoflurane Anesthesia Has Long-term Consequences on Motor and Behavioral Development in Infant Rhesus Macaques. Coleman K1, Robertson ND, Dissen GA, Neuringer MD, Martin LD, Cuzon Carlson VC, Kroenke C, Fair D, Brambrink AM. Anesthesiology. 2017 Jan;126(1):74-84.

Occupational exposure and addictions for physicians: case studies and theoretical implications. Mark S. Gold, MD, Joanne A. Byars, MS3, Kimberly Frost-Pineda, MPH. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2004; 27(1):745–753. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2004.07.006

Comparison of anesthetic induction in cats by use of isoflurane in an anesthetic chamber with a conventional vapor or liquid injection technique. Renee D. Schmid, dvm; David S. Hodgson, dvm, dacva; Rose M. McMurphy, dvm, dacva, dacvecc. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2008 July; 233(2).

Induction of anaesthesia with halothane and isoflurane in the rabbit: a comparison of the use of a face-mask or an anaesthetic chamber. P. A. Flecknell, I. J. Cruz, J. H. Liles & G. Whelan. Lab Anim. 1996 Jan;30(1):67-74. doi: 10.1258/002367796780744910. PMID: 8709576.


Dangers to Veterinarians

Stress-Free Anesthesia Induction Chamber for Veterinarian Clinics

If you own or work in a veterinarian clinic, you know the challenges of small animal anesthesia.

The process of anesthetizing small animals can be stressful for the animal and hard to witness. Traditionally, induction chambers have been connected to an in-house, active scavenging system. Anesthetic gas fills and evacuates the chamber simultaneously. The incoming anesthetic gas enters the chamber, follows the path of least resistance, and exits the chamber as it is filling the chamber. This wastes valuable anesthetic gas and creates a very slow anesthetizing process for your patients, resulting in a long excitement stage, where animals become disoriented and agitated before losing consciousness. Furthermore, traditional induction chambers don't always seal fully, leaking anesthetic gas into the room. When the animal is removed from the chamber the accumulated gas from inside the chamber escapes into the room. This exposes veterinarians and technicians to dangerous levels of waste anesthetic gas or WAG. Safe Niche Science has the solution!

Introducing, the Safe Niche Science ICevac System

Our revolutionary Induction Chamber Evacuation System makes small animal anesthesia safer for veterinarians and less stressful for animals. The ICevac system is hand built in Michigan, with a leak-proof seal and a one-of-a-kind baffle system. This combination allows anesthetic gas to immerse the induction chamber efficiently, securely, and quickly, allowing you to safely and rapidly anesthetize an animal. Then, flip a switch and the ICevac system becomes active, removing anesthetic gas immediately, BEFORE you open the box. Our small animal induction chamber changes the opportunities for small animal surgery and other procedures that require an animal to undergo sedation. Finally, an induction system that works for small animals. The ICevac system works quickly, offering safe, less stressful, and effective delivery of inhaled anesthesia to your patient, without the worry of exposing your staff to WAG.

Small Animal Induction Chamber

With 5 sizes to choose from, you can now comfortably open your practice up to anesthetizing animals even as small as a mouse. Our induction chamber and evacuator system seamlessly connects to your existing anesthetic system and works similarly to conventional anesthetic induction chamber procedures. You owe it to your practice to reduce stress in your animals, and you owe it to yourself to protect your staff from exposure to WAG.

5 Benefits of the SNS ICevac System

Induction chambers are virtually indestructible and easily sanitized
Available in 1-liter, 3-liter, 5-liter, 7-gallon, and 11-gallon
Lightweight and Portable
Individually Manufactured with U.S. Parts
LIFETIME SATISFACTION GUARANTEE*

SNS ICevac system is approved by UM OSEH and used in UM laboratories in Chemistry, Physiology, Cardiology, and Cardiac Surgery. The system is also used in veterinary practices in Michigan, including; Humane Society Huron Valley and Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, as well as practices in California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

Read More About Occupational Exposures and Risk of Spontaneous Abortion in Veterinary Practice

* All parts come with a LIFETIME SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it with a note describing why you are disappointed and we will issue a full refund or replacement.


Dangers to Researchers

Active Scavenging Induction Chamber for Research Facilities

If you work in, or manage, a research facility that uses mice, rats, rabbits or other small animal for testing, you’re probably familiar with the dangers of WAG.

WAG (Waste Anesthetic Gas) is the excess anesthetic gases and vapors, such as nitrous oxide and isoflurane, that are unintentionally leaked into the air. Induction chambers have been identified as a leading cause of exposure to WAG. Possible short-term health effects of WAG exposure include, but are not limited to: drowsiness, irritability, depression, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and problems with judgment and coordination. Long-term effects include: activation of the neural pathways that stimulate addiction, liver and kidney disease, adverse reproductive effects and cancer. WAG is an unnecessary consequence of using induction chambers.

Introducing, the Safe Niche Science ICevac System

Our innovative Induction Chamber Evacuation System makes the induction of anesthesia on small animals safer for laboratory technicians and other surrounding personnel, and less stressful for the animals they are working on. The ICevac system is the most affordable and effective induction chamber system on the market.

We custom make each ICevac system in Michigan, with a leak-proof seal and a one-of-a-kind baffle system. This combination allows anesthetic gas to immerse the induction chamber efficiently, securely, and quickly, allowing you to safely and rapidly anesthetize an animal. Then, flip a switch and the ICevac system becomes active, removing anesthetic gas immediately, BEFORE you open the box. The ICevac system works quickly, offering safe and effective delivery of inhaled anesthesia to the rodent, without the worry of exposing your staff to WAG.

Small Animal and Rodent Induction Chamber

As a research facility manager, the ICevac is a much-needed addition to your conventional anesthesia induction equipment. Our air-tight rodent induction chambers are lightweight and portable and come in 5 sizes to meet your facility’s needs. You owe it to your team to protect them from the dangers of WAG exposure.

5 Benefits of the SNS ICevac System

Induction chambers are virtually indestructible and easily sanitized
Available in 1-liter, 3-liter, 5-liter, 7-gallon, and 11-gallon
Lightweight and Portable
Individually Manufactured with U.S. Parts
LIFETIME SATISFACTION GUARANTEE*

SNS ICevac system is approved by UM OSEH and used in UM laboratories in Chemistry, Physiology, Cardiology, and Cardiac Surgery. The system is also used in veterinary practices in Michigan, including; Humane Society Huron Valley and Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, as well as practices in California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

* All parts come with a LIFETIME SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it with a note describing why you are disappointed and we will issue a full refund or replacement.