Spectral Content of Surgical Smoke
Surgical smoke is created when tissue is heated and cellular fluid is vaporized by the thermal action of an energy source.
Research has shown that smoke from electrosurgery is similar in content to that produced by a surgical laser. If you currently evacuate the plume from a laser, you should do likewise for smoke created by electrosurgical generators. Viral DNA, bacteria, carcinogens, and irritants are known to be present in electrosurgical smoke. Universal precautions indicate a smoke evacuation system should be used.
NIOSH (the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) have also studied electrosurgical smoke at length. They state: