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Mercury control technology assessment study, Veterans Administration Medical Center Dental Services Clinic, Salt Lake City, Utah, in-depth survey report for the site visit of January 11-12, 1982.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, ECTB 109-23b, 1982 Jun; :1-16
A site visit was made to the Veterans Administration Medical Center Dental Services Clinic, located in Salt Lake City, Utah for the purpose of investigating control methods used to lessen worker exposures to mercury (7439976). Mercury was used at the clinic in the preparation of dental amalgam for use in operatory dentistry. Mercury amalgam arrived at the clinic in capsule form, each capsule containing mercury and alloy powder. The capsules used at this site contained two chambers. The upper chamber contains a predetermined amount of mercury. The bottom chamber contains a steel pestle and the amount of alloy powder required to amalgamate with the mercury. After trituration the capsule was opened by separating the top chamber from the bottom chamber. The bottom chamber was emptied into the amalgam well. Waste amalgam from the patient's mouth and from the amalgam well or squeeze cloth was disposed of in a way that minimized the exposure of the amalgam to the ambient air of the clinic. Personal protective equipment included latex surgeon's gloves. Work practices and monitoring programs were described. The highest concentration recorded in the operatory area was 0.010 milligrams/cubic centimeter (mg/cm3) and was in the breathing zone of a dentist during tooth filling and condensation. Area samples in the bays ranged from none to 0.004mg/m3. The safety measures in place at this facility resulted in mercury exposures significantly below the OSHA permissible exposure level of 0.1mg/m3.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Survey; Field-Study; Region-8; NIOSH-Contract; Mercury-compounds; Mercury-vapors; Dentists; Health-care-personnel; Control-technology
Field Studies; Control Technology
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Enviro Control Division, Dynamac Corporation, Rockville, Maryland
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division