Measuring mercury in urine among students & professors at the faculty of dentistry exposed to mercury vapor by cold vapor atomic absorption technique
Introduction: Dentists are exposed to mercury vapor due to the occupational exposure to amalgam, which can endanger their health. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of mercury vapor on urinary mercury concentration of dental students and the restorative specialists in one of the dental schools of Iran.
Methods: The study population consisted40 dental students and 10 restoration specialists. Sample urine at the end of work time was collected, and the concentration of mercury in urine was measured by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry. A questionnaire was completed to determine the effects of some personal and environmental factors on the amount of urinary mercury. Data were analyzed using SPSS-22 software.
Results: The mean concentration of urinary mercury in dental students was 15.18±4.34μg/L and the restoration specialists were 4.11±1.05μg/l. In addition, there was a significant difference between the concentrations of urinary mercury in the two groups (P <0.001). At specialist professors there was a negative correlation between urinary mercury and working hours per day (r=-0.78, p=0.007). Also, in this study, there was a significant relationship between urine mercury and sex, age, type of amalgam consumed, consumption of smoking and the number of amalgam restorations.
Conclusion: The level of urine mercury in all samples was lower the recommended amount of ACGIH. The study is recommended mercury level monitoring for regularly evaluation of the workplace.