A patient safety group has called on the public to sign a petition to stop patients being exposed to toxic surgical smoke during operations.
The Association for Perioperative Practitioners, a membership organisation for healthcare professionals working in hospital operating theatres, claims the government must do more to protect the safety of patients.
The AfPP claims that the toxic plume produced during certain surgical procedures contains similar properties to those found in cigarettes.
The call comes ahead of National Clean Day on 20 June, where companies, charities and communities will work together to tackle pollution and make the air cleaner and healthier for all.
The petition was started by Kathie Nabbie, a former theatre nurse and member of the AfPP.
Kathy Nabbie said:
For almost three decades we have known about the hazards of diathermy plume, yet nothing is being done to prevent exposure.
We have the technology available in the UK, but we fail to use it. It is about time we utilised this technology and followed the US by making the use of evacuation systems mandatory.
The online petition has already reached over 5000 signatures, but for the government to respond, they need a further 5000 signatures before the deadline on 25 July.
President of the Association for Perioperative Practice Tracey Williams said:
We owe it to our patients, ourselves and our colleagues to make smoke evacuation mandatory.
No-one should be exposed to inhaling toxic smoke as part of their working day.
To show your support and sign the petition visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/237619