Huntington Beach, CA, March 6th, 2019
There are over 30,000 dentists licensed to practice in California. Most of these licensed practitioners work alongside tens of thousands of dental hygienists, laboratory technicians and office staff. These dedicated workers, who provide essential services for the state’s residents, may face some unique occupational exposure risks due to their profession.
While biological and blood-borne pathogens come to mind as an occupational hazard, there are a number of other potential material and chemical hazards that may be present in dental facilities. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Dental office and lab workers may be exposed to beryllium, which is used to make crowns, bridges, and partial dentures. Beryllium is listed as a human carcinogen in the Thirteenth Report on Carcinogens published by the National Toxicology Program. Dental workers may face potential reproductive health risks from exposure to heavy metals, organic solvents, sterilizing substances, and anesthetic gases. They may develop respiratory diseases after long-term exposure to dental drills made of cobalt, a hard metal. Dental workers may also be exposed to phthalates, which are used to make plastic medical devices; formaldehyde-resin adhesives; glues; and coatings. If dental workers use latex gloves, they may develop latex allergies or occupational asthma.”
“Even amalgam fillings that contain mercury need to be handled with care,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “At LA Testing, we offer a wide range of environmental and industrial hygiene testing services for chemicals, heavy metals, microbial contaminants and particulate matter from air, surface and even water samples. Understanding what exposure risks may be present in a dental office or laboratory is essential for ensuring a healthy indoor environment for workers and patients.”
LA Testing has sponsored an educational video about potential occupational and environmental exposure concerns in dental laboratories and offices that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/I2Hm95-tOGE.
To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, environmental, occupational, health and safety testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to IEQ test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.