Purpose: The study aimed to evaluate working environment for dental technician by measuring dust level, ventilation conditions and the use of personal protective equipment and to provide basic information required to improve working environment and develop health education programs for dental technician. Methods: A total of 240 dental technician who are registered with the Daegu Association of Dental technician and working at 34 dental laboratories participated in the study. And the dust level was measured at 21 different spots in 16 dental laboratories out of 34.
Results: Of 34 dental laboratories, 31 (91.2%) were equipped with a ventilator, but the remaining 3 (8.8%) did not have a ventilator. By the number of ventilator, 1 to 3 ventilators were found in 22 dental laboratories (71.0%), 4 to 6 ventilators were in 7 laboratories (22.5%) and more than 7 ventilators in 2 laboratories(6.5%). According to the frequence of changing filters in dust collector, 20 dental laboratories (58.9%) changed filters every four weeks, 10 laboratories (29.4%) changed them every six weeks and 4 laboratories (11.7%) changed them every eight weeks.
Of total respondents, 114 (61.3%) said they wore a mask all the time while working, 56 (29.6%) said they frequently wore a mask, 19 (10.1%) said they did not wear a mask. As for the type of masks, 159 (84.1%) used a disposable mask, 25 (13.2%) used a cotton mask and 5 (2.7%) used an anti-dust mask. For dust sat on their outfits while working, 102 (54.0%) shook their uniforms inside workplace to keep dust off the uniforms, 64 (33.9%) did not anything until they wash their uniforms and 23 (12.1%) shook their uniforms outside workplace to keep dust off the uniforms. Of total respondents, 182 (96.3%) had a particle in their eyes while carrying out grinding work.
Based on the measurement of floating dust at workplace, 3 dental laboratories showed dust concentration exceeding the minimum level of 10 / allowed under the permit for environment. Of those, 1 laboratory had the dust concentration that was more than 1.5 times higher than the minimum level.
Dust concentration was higher in laboratories that used a dust collector with 0.5 horse power and changed filters more than 3 weeks ago.
Dust comprised of nickel (more than 70%), chrome (9%) and others. The mean chrome concentration was more than twice higher than the minimum permissible level of 0.5 / . There were two laboratories that showed chrome concentration exceeding the level of 0.4 / . Like dust concentration, chrome level was higher in laboratories that used a dust collector with 0.5 horse power and changed filters more than 3 weeks ago. There were six laboratories that had nickel concentration exceeding the minimum permissible level of 1 / . Of those, one laboratory had nickel concentration that was more than three times higher than the minimum permissible level.
Nickel concentration was also higher in laboratories that used a dust collector with 0.5 horse power and changed filters more than 3 weeks ago.
Conclusion: It is not likely that heavy metal concentrations found in the study constitute respiratory dust. It is however necessary for health of dental technician to apply the Industrial Safety and Healthy Law to dental laboratories and make recommendations for the use of personal protective equipment, installation of a proper number of ventilators, more frequent change of filters in dust collector and improved ventilation for polishing work.
At the same time, dental technician need education on how to use personal protective equipment and how to efficiently remove dust from their uniforms.
Ⅱ. 연구 방법
1. 연구 대상
2. 설문 조사
3. 분진 측정 방법