A Peripherally Located Air Recirculation Device Containing an Activated Carbon Filter Reduces VOC Levels in a Simulated Operating Room
Gregory T. Carroll* and David L. Kirschman
Electrosurgery procedures produce airborne contaminants including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The effectiveness of commercial grade activated carbon at removing toluene, a typical VOC, from the air in an enclosed simulated operating room (OR) when interfaced with an air recirculation device was tested. The concentration of toluene in the air was measured using gas sensitive semiconductor VOC sensors. When the air recirculation device containing activated carbon was turned on, the concentration of toluene in the air decayed exponentially. When the device was off, the toluene concentration reduced much more slowly. After 130 min, a VOC sensor placed near the air recirculation device showed VOC reductions of approximately 30% when the device is on and less than 1% when the device is off. Changing the activated carbon filter after 22 h of constant use showed an abrupt increase in the rate of toluene removal.