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Occupational Hygiene & Chemical Safety Division

Risk Management Services

Web: 3-107 Research Transition Facility Edmonton, AB Canada T6G 2V2

Department of Environmental Health & Safety

Tel: 780.492-6888 Fax: 780.492.7790

Isoflurane Fact Sheet

Isoflurane is a halogenated inhalation general anesthetic. Isoflurane is a non-flammable, clear, colorless liquid with a mild ether-like odour. It is a very volatile liquid at room temperature and pressure. Evaporation rate may increase with increasing temperature.

Exposure to Isoflurane may occur during filling the anesthetic machine or from escape of waste anesthetic gases while administering the anesthetic. Exposure to Isoflurane may cause nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness and drowsiness. Acute effects of overexposure may cause anesthesia, respiratory depression and coughing. For more information on Isoflurane refer to Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) prior to using it.

Engineering Controls Always use a scavenging system to remove waste anesthetic gases. In cases where the open- drop method is used the jar must be placed inside a properly functioning fume hood with the sash as far down as possible. Worker Education Ensure workers are trained in: Proper handling, use, storage and disposal of Isoflurane. Ensure all workers read and understand the manufacturers MSDS prior to using Isoflurane. Keep the MSDS in a readily accessible location. The anesthesia procedures including the use of the anesthetic machine, the waste anesthetic gas scavenging system. Proper use of chemical fume hoods or other applicable local exhaust ventilation, and Spill clean-up and emergency response procedures. Administrative Controls Check all connections and fittings prior to start of anesthesia. Carefully pour Isoflurane into the vaporiser to prevent/minimize spills. Ensure regular inspection and maintenance is performed on the anesthesia machines and related equipment.


Store Isoflurane bottles in a cool well-ventilated area as indicated in the MSDS. Do not store large quantities of Isoflurane. Ensure bottles are tightly closed and returned to storage location immediately after use.


Small spill (A few milliliters) Isoflurane is a highly volatile liquid. Therefore, any attempt to clean or collect liquid of small spills may not be successful as the liquid may dissipate quickly. Clean spill area with soap and water. Large Spills (1-2 stock bottles) Evacuate immediate area. Call 911 for medical emergency If safe to do so, quickly place absorbent material on the spill and leave the area. Call the University Control Center @ 2-5555 from a phone outside of the laboratory to request assistance. o The Control Center may be able to modify the laboratory ventilation rate to facilitate faster exchange of air in the laboratory. o Secure entry points with banner tape or other means to prevent entry into area. o Wait outside the laboratory for emergency responders. Wait for instructions from Environmental Health & Safety before re-entering the laboratory.

1. Procedure for working with Isoflurane Gas, University of Minnesota, Duluth 2. Material Safety Data Sheet Halocarbon 3. Using Liquid Isoflurane for Anesthesia in V A Medical Centre Animal Research Facility

Isoflurane Fact Sheet

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