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Acta Cient Venez. 2000;51(1):32-8.

[Occupational exposure and health effects of metallic mercury among dentists and dental assistants: a preliminary study. Valencia, Venezuela; 1998].

[Article in Spanish]

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Centro de Investigaciones Toxicológicas, Universidad de Carabobo (CITUC), Valencia, Venezuela.


The aim of this investigation was to establish mercury (Hg) health effects on dentists and dental assistants, its relationship with exposure conditions and the potential renal damage Hg-related. The total population was 66 people, with a sample of 37 (56%), 22 dentists (59.5%, 19 male, 3 female) and 15 dental assistants (40.5%, all female). This was accomplished by an interview, Hg in urine (Hg-U) and N-acetyl-B-D-glucosaminidase activity in urine (NAG-U). Average values of Hg-U for dentists were 22.4 +/- 6.4 micrograms/g creatinine and 22.2 +/- 6.1 micrograms/g creatinine for dental assistants NAG-U average values were 2.9 +/- 3 U/L and 5.2 +/- 8.1 U/L respectively. There were no statistically significant differences between these averages (p > 0.05). There was no correlation between the quantity of amalgam prepared and working hours with Hg-U and NAG-U. Most frequent symptoms referred by dentists were: irritability (54.5%), cephalalgia (45.4%), arthralgias (40.9%), and the ones more referred by assistants were arthralgias (53.3%), irritability (46.7%) and cephalalgia (46.7%). It was not found a significative risk of having them among these groups. There is a need for further investigations including environmental monitoring of Hg, clinical evaluation and neurobehavioural tests to detect early effects. It is important to enforce personal safety measures to control the exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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