Mercury exposure of different origins among dentists and dental nurses

Scand J Work Environ Health. 1990 Oct;16(5):340-7. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.1774.


Mercury exposure was studied among dental personnel with the use of urinary mercury excretion rates and questionnaires. The study covered 314 dentists and dental nurses employed in public clinics and private practices in Stockholm. The obtained urinary mercury excretion rates were analyzed by stepwise regression for assigning them to different origins, such as environmental factors, number of amalgam surfaces, chewing of gum, kind of employment and profession, age, sex, amalgam handling time, and use of amalgam capsules. On the average the occupational contribution to the total urinary mercury excretion rate was small and of the same order as the contribution from their own amalgam fillings (approximately 2 micrograms of mercury/24 h). There were, however, individuals showing excretion rates close to the levels at which effects on the central nervous system and the kidneys have been reported.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dental Assistants*
  • Dentists*
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mercury Poisoning / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Sweden