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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 6126385, 9 pages
Research Article

Use of Mercury in Dental Silver Amalgam: An Occupational and Environmental Assessment

1College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
2College of Petroleum and Geosciences, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
3Institute of Chemistry, University of the Punjab, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
4Institute of Geology, University of the Punjab, Lahore 54590, Pakistan

Received 9 February 2016; Accepted 8 June 2016

Academic Editor: Blanca Laffon

Copyright © 2016 Nadia Jamil et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of this study was to assess the occupational exposure to mercury in dentistry and associated environmental emission in wastewater of Lahore, Pakistan. A total of ninety-eight blood samples were collected comprising 37 dentists, 31 dental assistants, and 30 controls. Results demonstrate that the dentistry personnel contained significantly higher mean concentration of mercury in their blood samples (dentists: 29.835 µg/L and dental assistants: 22.798 µg/L) compared to that of the controls (3.2769 µg/L). The mean concentration of mercury was found maximum in the blood samples of older age group (62.8 µg/L) in dentists and (44.3 µg/L) in dental assistants. The comparison of mercury concentration among dentists, dental assistants, and controls (pairing based on their ages) revealed that the concentration increased with the age and experience among the dentists and dental assistants. Moreover, the mercury concentration in all the studied dental wastewater samples, collected from twenty-two dental clinics, was found to be exceeding the recommended discharge limit of 0.01 mg/L. Therefore, we recommend that immediate steps must be taken to ensure appropriate preventive measures to avoid mercury vapors in order to prevent potential health hazards to dentistry personnel. Strong regulatory and administrative measures are needed to deal with mercury pollution on emergency basis.