Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1985;11(4):281-286    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2228

Subjective symptoms among dental technicians exposed to the monomer methyl methacrylate.

by Rajaniemi R, Tola S

Dental technicians, their technical aids, and the students of the State Institute for Dental Technicians during a single academic year were surveyed for their use of the acrylic ester monomer and subjective symptoms in a questionnaire study. The population under study included all the members of the trade union in the greater Helsinki area and all specially trained technical aids in Finland. Acrylic monomers were handled daily without skin protection by 81% of the 293 respondents. Current hand dermatitis, or previous local dermatological problems, was reported by 17% of the respondents. Frequent contact with the acrylic monomer increased the rate of the self-reported dermatitis. The symptoms were spontaneously reported to be associated with the monomer by 42% of the respondents. Previously experienced allergies seemed to predispose the subjects to these irritative reactions. Other finger symptoms, eg, whitening and feelings of numbness, coldness, and pain, were reported by 25% of the respondents. Students attending the four-year technical school reported an increasing frequency of finger symptoms as their studies advanced, and in their senior year they reported the same frequency of occurrence as the qualified dental technicians.