ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences
There are a limited number of substances used in laboratories which have anaestetising properties. Some workers are also responsible for anaesthetising animals. All of these substances are potentially dangerous. Where animals are anaesthetised the substances must only be administered by adequately trained personnel who are fully aware of their dangerous properties. Where anaesthetising agents are used two members of staff should always be present - one standing well away from where the anaesthetic is handled.
The most common anaesthetics used are ether (diethyl ether), chloroform and halothane (bromochlorotrifluorethane). The chemicals list contains material safety data sheets for diethyl ether and chloroform.