Mercury vapor levels in dental spaces

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Naval Graduate Dental School, National Naval Medical Center, 1972 - Medical - 6 pages
Mercury vapor in sufficient concentration can be toxic to humans. Studies showing vapor levels in dental operating rooms are conflicting in their results. The purpose of this investigation was to compare mercury vapor levels in the air of dental operating rooms at three separate naval facilities. Direct mercury vapor meter readings were taken in a newly remodeled 14-unit facility, an 18-unit student clinic, and a small, carpeted three-operatory clinic. Some conditions contributing to high mercury vapor levels were also evaluated. Highest mercury vapor concentrations for a working day were found in the small clinic, in which the mean value of 0.056 mg/cu m exceeded the revised threshold limit value (TLV). Activities such as carpet vacuuming, stamping of feet, and amalgam trituration momentarily increased mercury concentration to peaks up to 0.20 mg/cu m. A direct relationship was noted between the amount of mercury in the air and the amount of mercury in the urine of persons working in the room. (Author).

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