Use of Mercury in Dental Silver Amalgam: An Occupational and Environmental Assessment

The objective of this study was to assess the occupational exposure to mercury in dentistry and associated environmental emission in wastewater of Lahore, Pakistan. A total of ninety-eight blood samples were collected comprising 37 dentists, 31 dental assistants, and 30 controls. Results demonstrate that the dentistry personnel contained significantly higher mean concentration of mercury in their blood samples (dentists: 29.835?µg/L and dental assistants: 22.798?µg/L) compared to that of the controls (3.2769?µg/L). The mean concentration of mercury was found maximum in the blood samples of older age group (62.8?µg/L) in dentists and (44.3?µg/L) in dental assistants. The comparison of mercury concentration among dentists, dental assistants, and controls (pairing based on their ages) revealed that the concentration increased with the age and experience among the dentists and dental assistants. Moreover, the mercury concentration in all the studied dental wastewater samples, collected from twenty-two dental clinics, was found to be exceeding the recommended discharge limit of 0.01?mg/L. Therefore, the authors recommend that immediate steps must be taken to ensure appropriate preventive measures to avoid mercury vapours in order to prevent potential health hazards to dentistry personnel. Strong regulatory and administrative measures are needed to deal with mercury pollution on emergency basis.

Authors: Jamil N, Bazar M, Ilyas S, Qadir A, Arslan M, Salman M, Ahsan N, Zahid H. ;Full Source: Biomedical Research International. 2016; 2016:6126385. doi: 10.1155/2016/6126385. Epub 2016 Jun 30. ;