Dental laboratories across the U.S. bring numerous health hazards to workers in these environments. While it might not seem like an industry full of health issues, there are several daily functions that put those working around silica at harm.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, silica can occur in dental labs from casting, mixing or breaking dental products. Two materials used in these processes include quartz and cristobalite, which contain 10 to 50 percent and 20 to 70 percent silica, respectively.
When dental labs make prosthetics there’s sand blasting, porcelain grinding and polishing. These actions cause airborne dusts from silica, which can cause Silicosis. According to Dentistry Today, Silicosis can be a debilitating lung disease that is also sometimes fatal by breathing in silica dust.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported 2 million U.S. workers to face a serious threat from silica and more than 100,000 are in high-risk environments where rock drilling, blasting and sanding all take place.
Crystalline silica is a human lung carcinogen from airborne dust, but using air purification systems can prevent lung disease by removing the harmful particles from the air and creating a safer work environment.
By Leonard Roulier
Industry regulation and worker respiratory safety news brought to you by Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc