Experts have recommended a new plan to warn dentists exposed to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been found throughout the world. Asbestos is toxic and cancer-causing for human beings.
Dentists used asbestos in the manufacture of dental prostheses from the 1960s to 1970s. Generally, those who develop asbestos-related diseases show no signs of illness for a long time after their exposure. It can take from 10 to 40 years or more for symptoms of an asbestos-related condition to appear.
Experts have recommended a new plan to prevent asbestos exposure in dentistry. This recommendation was created under the EuropeAid Assessment Guidelines.
Experts also request the inclusion of the dental sector in the lists of professions with asbestos exposure.
A Long History of Mesothelioma
Asbestos use dates back to 3,000 years ago in ancient Egyptian clothes. The Greeks coined the term “asbestos” 2,000 years ago as inextinguishable.
The use of asbestos did not become popular until the Industrial Revolution. It was used all over during the First and Second World Wars.
It was not until 1955 that a report by Richard Doll showed that lung cancer was a hazard among asbestos workers. The risk for lung cancer among men employed for 20 or more years was 10-times higher than usual.
In the 1960s–1970s, asbestos was a known health hazard. Yet many countries continued to record the greatest asbestos use during this period.
Malignant asbestos diseases include mesothelioma, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and laryngeal cancer.
There is approximately one death caused by mesothelioma for every 130 tons of asbestos consumed. Models estimate more than 5 million deaths worldwide by exposure to asbestos.
Mesothelioma in the Dental Industry
The use of asbestos was common in the manufacture of dental prostheses in the 1960s and 1970s. Dentists exposed to asbestos in the past could trigger the development of malignant mesothelioma.
Asbestos was used for the manufacture of several dental products. This included dental dressings and lining material for casting crowns, bridges, and more. A 1988 Laboratory Procedure Manual explains how to apply the asbestos material.
Experts are concerned about occupational hazard for dentists exposed, including technicians and dentists. An increase in mesothelioma has been predicted due to the long latency period.
It is possible that many dental professionals and patients were exposed to asbestos. The manifestation of occupational disease could be common in the dental profession.
A new study proposes a plan for the prevention of occupational risks due to dentists exposed to asbestos.
Dental Occupational Risk and Asbestos Exposure
Experts recommend an occupational risk prevention plan for asbestosis in dentistry. It is important to communicate the risks for dental professionals exposed to asbestos.
Dental professionals may have been exposed to the harmful effects of this material. A medical surveillance system may be useful in this case. It could health problems arising from asbestos exposure.
Although asbestos is banned in many countries, there are others where it is still permitted.
It is necessary to inform and train the dental profession. It is important to teach them about the possible risk of having been exposed to asbestos fibers.
Experts also request the inclusion of the dental sector in the lists of professions with exposure to asbestos.
Anaya-Aguilar, C., Bravo, M., Magan-Fernandez, A., del Castillo-Salmerón, R., Rodríguez-Archilla, A., Montero, J., … & Anaya-Aguilar, R. (2022). Prevention of Occupational Hazards Due to Asbestos Exposure in Dentistry. A Proposal from a Panel of Experts. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(6), 3153. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063153