The Potential Effects of WAGs

Over the course of several decades, a wide variety of researchers have performed numerous studies that identified possible correlations between exposure to waste anesthetic gases and potential health effects. According to OSHA , waste anesthetic gas may be responsible for issues including1:

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Embryotoxicity
  • Cancer

OSHA has also cited the potential for exposed clinicians to experience even more serious health effects, and recommends taking appropriate precautions to protect hospital staff.2

Leading Voices Call for Action

In a 2020 NIOSH field assessment, all evaluated PACU's experienced WAG area concentrations exceeding the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit (RELs).3 Since this study was published in 2022, leading voices in this space have made formal recommendations to address this problem.

“WAGs should be regulated with engineering controls in the PACU including Application of commercially available source-control scavenging systems to patients recovering in the PACU following surgery, following the administration of inhalation anesthetic agents.”4
American Society for PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN)
Position Statement on Waste Anesthesia Gases, 2022

“Use market-available scavenging systems on the patient in the PACU to capture WAGs at their source: patient outgassing of the anesthetic agent administered to them during surgery.”5
American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
White Paper on Waste Anesthesia Gases, 2022

A Proven6 Solution Available for PACU Source Control

The ISO-Gard® Mask with ClearAir® Technology is proven6 to provide clinicians source control for waste anesthesia gas, helping hospitals comply with OSHA and NIOSH recommendations for scavenging WAGS and giving clinicians peace of mind as they deliver bedside care to their patients.

Learn more about the ISO-Gard® Mask with ClearAir® Technology


  1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA Technical Manual (OTM) Section VI: Chapter 1. Hospital Investigations: Health Hazards. Washington, DC: United States Department of Labor, 1991. Accessed March 30, 2023.
  2. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. (Revised 18 May 2000). Anesthetic Gases: Guidelines for Workplace Exposures. Retrieved from:
  3. Garcia A, Merk G, Garner S, Feng HA. Comprehensive report: Engineering controls for post-operatory waste anesthetic gases - baseline data collection. CDC . March 2022:1-28. doi:10.26616/nioshephb2022dfse822
  4. Card E, Wilson L, Krenzischek D. An Introduction to ASPAN's Waste Anesthesia Gases (WAGs) Position Statement. J Perianesth Nurs. 2023 Feb;38(1):4-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jopan.2022.11.018. Epub 2023 Jan 23. PMID: 36697131.
  5. McGlothlin JD, et al. Recognition, Evaluation and Control of Waste Anesthetic Gases in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit. AIHA . 2021;1:1-20.
  6. Tallent R, et. al. Evaluation of a novel waste anaesthetic gas scavenger device for use during recovery from anaesthesia. Anaesthesia. 2018;73(1):59-64. Research sponsored in part by Teleflex, Inc.
Teleflex, the Teleflex logo, ClearAir, and ISO-Gard are trademarks or registered trademarks of Teleflex Incorporated or its affiliates, in the U.S. and/or other countries. All rights reserved. ©2022 Teleflex Incorporated. MC-008416