Product Code: JLA_1_3_59

John M. Kokosa
GMI Engineering & Management Institute, Flint, Michigan 48504 U.S.A.

John Eugene
Beckman Laser Institute, Irvine, California 92715 U.S.A.

Lasers are assuming an increasingly important role in surgical procedures. However, several studies have shown that the smoke produced by laser‐tissue interaction is an airway irritant. Preliminary studies in our laboratories have shown that potentially hazardous chemicals, including benzene, formaldehyde and acrolein are present in the smoke plume resulting from CO2 and Nd:YAG laser interaction with animal tissue, even at low power densities. Since these chemicals are classified as potential carcinogens and /or irritants, surgeons must employ adequate evacuation equipment during laser surgical procedures to ensure the safety of operating personnel and patients.

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