Occupational Mercury Poisoning in Dentistry

Dentist/Dental Assistant I. Dental personnel and mercury exposure

Dental offices are known to be one of the largest users of inorganic mercury. It is well documented that dentists and dental personnel who work with amalgam are chronically exposed to mercury vapour, which accumulates in their bodies to much higher levels than for most non-occupationally exposed. Adverse health effects of this exposure including neurological effects have also been well documented that affect most dentists and dental assistants, with measurable effects among those in the lowest levels of exposure.

Mercury levels of dental personnel average at least 2 times that of controls for hair, urine, toenails, and for blood. A Lebanese study found 25% of dentists had hair mercury levels over 5ppm and 8% had level over 10 ppm.

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