Pneumoconiosis and work-related health complaints in Turkish dental laboratory workers
Turkish Journal of Tuberculosis & Thorax
Dental technicians make the missing tooth and complementary prosthesis and bridges according to the dentist's measurements. They use various materials including silica. Exposure to these materials increases the multi-systemic health problems in addition to respiratory health problems related with work. We planned to evaluate the work history, working conditions and frequency of health problems including pneumoconiosis. Two hundred and fourteen cases in total from 9 workplaces were evaluated. A
... were evaluated. A face to face questionnaire was used to determine the demographic features of workers and standard chest X-rays were evaluated by an expert reader according to ILO 1980 standards. Mean age of the workers was 28.1 + or - 8.3. Seventy four cases were non-smoker. Mean daily working time was 11.0 + or - 1.6 hours. Mean total working period in this sector was 12.1 + or - 9.0 years. One hundred cases had at least 1 respiratory complaint. Radiological findings were correlated with pneumoconiosis in 33 (23.6%) workers. Pneumoconiosis frequency was 50.0% in cases with sandblasting history. There was not any significant correlation between pneumoconiosis and cough, sputum, dyspnea, wheezing, physical examination findings and tenure. Dental technicians have serious respiratory risks including dermal and muscle-skeleton system arising from occupational setting in Turkey. Working conditions in dental laboratories must be improved by informing the workers and workplaces must be regularly controlled for worker health and hygiene.