Bill Would Regulate Surgical Smoke in Colorado

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, March 18, 2019

A bill introduced in Colorado would require the adoption of policies that prevent exposure to surgical smoke in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. The bill is sponsored by Representative Janet Buckner and Senator Robert Rodriguez, and is known as House Bill 1041 (HB 1041). You can review the text of HB 1041 in full here; it has passed both the House and Senate, and awaits engrossment and to be sent to the governor for his signature.
HB 1041 would require the adoption of policies to prevent exposure to surgical smoke using a specialized evacuator. In this context, “surgical smoke” is any gaseous by-product that is produced during surgery using energy-based devices, including surgical plume, smoke plume, bio-aerosols, laser-generated airborne contaminants and lung-damaging dust. The policy would require that these by-products be contained at the generation sight before they have a chance to come into contact with anyone in the room. Based on the language of HB 1041, it appears that “surgical smoke evacuation systems” would need to be positioned very close to the surgical site to capture or vacuum up the smoke plume. HB 1041 would only apply to surgeries performed in hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers.
Once signed by the governor, HB 1041 would be subject to a public petition period and then would apply to all surgical procedures in hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers after May 1, 2021. Recent studies have indicated that surgical smoke can pose exposures risks similar to other secondhand smoke exposure. Once HB 1041 passes, it would make Colorado among the first states to specifically regulate this type of exposure.