Blood Mercury Levels of Dental Students and Dentists at a Dental School

To determine the blood mercury levels in dental students and clinical teaching staff in a dental school using amalgam as a restorative material. There were statistically significant increases (p<0.001) in plasma mercury concentration between measurements in all groups at the end of the academic year. Red cell mercury levels were also consistently elevated. Although the highest levels of mercury were recorded in persons working with amalgam, increased levels were also found in subjects working in the teaching classrooms but not with amalgam (controls and first year students). Increased mercury levels appeared to be due to background exposure from spillage of mercury and amalgam residues on floors. Increased mercury hygiene and regular control of working atmosphere should be implemented to prevent mercury exposure in the dental pre-clinical laboratory.

Tezel H, Ertas OS, Erakin C, Kayali A. Br Dent J. 2001 Oct 27;191(8):449-52 11720018 PubMed.

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