ANSI Z136.3 Standard for Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care (2018 Edition) defines laser plume as one of the non-beam laser hazards since it contains viral, bacterial, and other cellular and aerosolized particulates. ANSI Z136.3 Standard also specifies safety measures to mitigate the laser plume hazards, i.e. the mandatory use of Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) device equipped with a proper filter (with ANSI Z136.3 Standard’s defined filtration at 0.12μm at 99.999% efficiency) and with suction nozzle held as close as possible to the surgical site (no further than 2 inches per the CDC) to safely remove laser plume.
At this time ANSI Z136.3 Standard does not address the safe removal of laser plume when water spray is directed at and is dispersing the laser plume, which may reduce the efficacy of laser plume capture by the LEV device.
LightScalpel, VetScalpel, Aesculight, and Luxar surgical CO2 lasers with indications for soft tissue surgeries do not use water sprays and are safe when used in compliance with the ANSI Z136.3 Standard for Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care and respective laser’s User Manual.