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Journal of Toxicology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 401012, 8 pages
Research Article

Determination of Mercury Exposure among Dental Health Workers in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand

1Department of Industrial Hygiene and Health Science, Faculty of Health and Sports Science, Thaksin University, 222 Moo 2 Papayom District, Phatthalung 93110, Thailand
2Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Sports Science, Thaksin University, Phatthalung 93110, Thailand
3Sirindhorn College of Public Health, Trang 92110, Thailand

Received 2 July 2014; Revised 13 September 2014; Accepted 16 September 2014; Published 1 October 2014

Academic Editor: Steven J. Bursian

Copyright © 2014 Somsiri Decharat 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.


Objectives. The main objective of this study was to assess the mercury exposure levels in dental health workers that work in dental clinics. The study evaluated the airborne and urinary mercury levels, the type of work done in the clinic, and the effect of mercury exposure on health of dental health workers. Material and Methods. A case-control study was conducted with 124 exposed and 124 matched nonexposed subjects. Personal and area samplings were conducted to quantify mercury concentrations by solid sorbent tube. Urine samples were collected to determine mercury levels by cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrometer mercury analyzer. Results and Discussion. 17.6% () of the air samples were higher than the occupational exposure limit (OEL). A multiple regression model was constructed. Significant predictors of urinary mercury levels included dietary consumption (fish or seafood), duration of work (yrs), work position, personal protection equipment used (PPE), and personal hygiene behaviors. Significant correlations were observed between mercury levels in urine and mercury in storage areas (, ) and between mercury levels in urine and airborne mercury in personal samplings (, ). Conclusion. Improvements in working conditions, occupational health training, and PPE use are recommended to reduce mercury exposure.