Exposure of dentists and assistants to mercury: mercury levels in urine and hair related to conditions of practice

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1988 Jun;16(3):153-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.1988.tb00564.x.


A study of 162 dentists' and their assistants' mercury levels in hair and urine, and of questionnaire items regarding mercury consumption, revealed some striking relations. The mercury concentrations in both hair (Hg-H) and urine (Hg-U) were somewhat higher in the dentists than the assistants. There was no relation between concentrations in hair and urine. The method of condensation of amalgam was positively related to Hg-U; the vibration method was negatively related. Hg-U was also positively related to number of fillings and hours in own practice. The relation of Hg-U to ventilation in the surgery applied only to the dentists.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Amalgam
  • Dental Assistants*
  • Dental Offices
  • Dentists*
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Hair / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Mercury / analysis*
  • Mercury / urine
  • Neutron Activation Analysis
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic
  • Ventilation


  • Dental Amalgam
  • Mercury