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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2007 Apr;26(4):367-74.

A 30-year follow-up of residual effects on New Zealand School Dental Nurses, from occupational mercury exposure.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. L.M.Jones@massey.ac.nz

Abstract

This paper reports possible residual adverse effects from occupational mercury exposure in dentistry, Thirty years ago, the all-women exposed group worked with both silver and copper amalgam filling material without protective gloves or a ventilation system, resulting in chronic mercury exposure. The aim of the study was to test the null hypothesis in a survey of general and reproductive health, and a battery of nine neurobehavioral tests. The population was the 115 graduates of one school for dental nurses from 1968 to 1971. The sample was 43 mercury-exposed women and 32 matched controls. Statistical comparisons revealed that the two groups were equivalent on cognitive tasks and four of the six mood subscales. Significant between-group differences were found in current health symptom experience and reproductive health, especially early hysterectomy experience. Reporting of Occupational Overuse Syndrome was strongly positively correlated with years of work. In general, the study suggests that acute symptoms from mercury exposure may be reversible, while some residual health effects may be becoming more of a concern with the women's increasing age.

PMID:
17615119
DOI:
10.1177/0960327107076824
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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