Agent Name

Nitrous oxide

CAS Number

10024-97-2

Formula

N2-O

Major Category

Toxic Gases & Vapors

Synonyms

Dinitrogen monoxide; Hyponitrous acid anhydride; Laughing gas; [NIOSH]

Category

Other Toxic Gases & Vapors

Description

Colorless gas with a slightly sweet odor. [inhalation anesthetic] [Note: Shipped as a liquefied compressed gas.] [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Nitrous oxide has been used as an anesthetic since 1844. It has also been used as a foaming agent for whipped cream, as an oxidant in organic chemical production and as a component of rocket fuel. Occupational exposures have been measured in the 400 to 3000 ppm range without anesthetic waste gas scavenging and 50 ppm with waste gas scavenging. [ACGIH]

Comments

Nitrous oxide is a simple asphyxiant; it has caused neuropathy when abused for its euphoric effects. The TLV basis is CNS impaiment, hematologic effect, and embryo/fetal damage. Rats exposed for 2 or more days to 80% NO and 20% O2 have altered hematopoiesis. At 1000 ppm, NO inactivates vitamin B12. [ACGIH] Possible frostbite from contact with liquid; [NIOSH] In substance abuse cases with peripheral neuropathy, nitrous oxide was administered at 300,000 to 800,000 ppm (30-80%) for 30-60 minutes per day, 2-7 days a week for 3 months to several years. [CHEMINFO]

Reference Link

Volatile Substance Abuse

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

TLV (ACGIH)

50 ppm

MAK

100 ppm

Explanatory Notes

Does not burn; [CHEMINFO]

Adverse Effects
Neurotoxin

Sensorimotor Neuropathy

Reproductive Toxin

Yes

Other Poison

Simple Asphyxiant

ACGIH Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Biomedical References

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Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: