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Mercury burden and health impairment in dental auxilaries.
Shapiro IM; Bloch P; Ship II; Spitz L; Sumner A; Uzzell B
Final Report 1988, Jan; :1-26
An effort was made to develop a safe and effective x-ray fluorescence system for monitoring mercury (7439976) and other elements in human tissues in-situ, to determine mercury levels in 207 dental auxiliaries exposed to dental amalgam on the job, to evaluate mercury in matching nonexposed populations and in 298 dentists using mercury amalgam, and to evaluate deficiencies in central and peripheral nervous systems resulting from the mercury exposure. Mercury levels were below 20 micrograms/gram in 60 percent of the dentists and 90 percent of the dental auxiliaries. Dentists with the higher mercury concentrations in their heads or wrists had considerably longer median motor distal latencies and median F-wave latency. Five of them demonstrated abnormalities consistent with carpal tunnel syndrome; seven had polyneuropathies defined as reduced motor or sensory conduction velocities of response amplitudes in two or more nerves. No significant differences were found in the results of neurological studies conducted on dental auxiliaries, whether they had high levels or no detectable levels of mercury in their bodies. Neuropsychological tests indicated both groups of dental workers were adversely affected by mercury exposure. Deficits were noted in performance in grooved pegboard and recurrent figures tests.
NIOSH-Grant; Dentistry; Body-distribution; Laboratory-workers; Mercury-poisoning; Neuropathology; Nervous-system-disorders; Heavy-metals
Biochemistry University of Pennsylvania 4001 Spruce Street Philadelphia, PA 19104
Final Grant Report
NTIS Accession No.
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division