Respirator cartridges and filters can protect dentists and their employees from a variety of hazardous contaminants, such as mercury, but only if the cartridges are properly matched to the hazards one is trying to obtain protection from.
Occupational exposure to dental mercury often exceeds OSHA safety standards. When respiratory protection is required, employers must implement a respiratory protection program as specified in OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard 29 CFR 1910.134
No matter how diligent one is at implementing the various engineering controls to capture mercury during safe amalgam removal, the unfortunate reality is there will be some mercury particulate that still escapes collection. It is vital to be aware of where the escaped mercury accumulates, how to test for it and how to safely clean it.
Mercury-Safe Biological Dentist Dr. Matthew Young shares his Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART) Tip of using dental dams & HgX cream to reduce patient mercury exposure.