Journal of Ergonomics

Journal of Ergonomics
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7556


Assessment of Occupational Exposure to Mercury Concentrations in Hair and Nail of Dental Staff at Some Dental Clinics in Makkah Region

Hiba S Al-Amodi, Heba M Adly, Abeer Ahmed ALrefai and Amal Zaghloul

Studies showed that dentists and dental staff working with amalgam are chronically exposed to mercury that accumulates in their bodies in higher levels than those individuals not occupational exposed to mercury. Mercury levels in dental staff averaged at least 2 times that of control subjects in hair, nails, urine and blood. This study aimed to review long-standing mercury monitoring concentration in dental staff hair and nail in Makkah Saudi Arabia. 139 hair and nail samples were collected among male and female with average age ≥30 years. 83 samples were collected from dental staff working at different polyclinics and private clinics in Makkah region while 56 samples were collected from volunteers as control sample. Hair and nail samples were analysed using a Perkin Elmer (ICP-MS 7300). The study showed that in dental staff both males and females the mercury concentration in hair increased with age up to mid-30s, then gradually decrease. Moreover, the study found that mean hair mercury levels in both males and females were highest in individuals had preference of fish consumption ≥4.46 μg/l, followed by dental staff had a higher supplementation intake. While the nail mercury concentrations in both males and females were also higher in those individuals with high fish consumption (≥3.08 μg/l). The study approved a significant correlation between mercury levels in dental staff hair and nail, although conclusive evidence is lacking that directly correlates amalgam with adverse health effects, dental staff should remain knowledgeable about mercury release from amalgam through direct exposure.