Wear patient examination gloves during
Place collected mercury in a sealed, suitable
liquid- and vapor-tight container, and remove to
a designated area for disposal as mercury waste.
Scrub contaminated surfaces with mercury
decontaminant to convert any trapped mercury.
Clean thoroughly any equipment or instrument,
such as amalgamator, that becomes
contaminated with mercury with a mercury
Contact the cognizant industrial hygiene office
to test the decontaminated area and equipment
for residual mercury.
Mercury and mercury compounds will not be
dumped into any body of water including open seas or
oceans, or intentionally released into any ships waste
disposal system. Shipboard mercury storage and
handling areas should not be connected to deck
For shipboard only, all mercury-contaminated
waste, including scrap amalgam, will be collected, and
packaged with a double boundary of confinement
using plastic bags, sealable drums, or polyethylene
bottles and labeled.
For shore facilities, dispose packaged mercury
waste in cooperation with the base environmental
public works department.
Special disposal procedures are not required for
items contaminated with trace amounts of mercury,
such as used disposable amalgam capsules. Reclose
amalgam capsules after use, or seal used capsules in a
The major causes of burns are inattentiveness and
rushing through a task.
Two types of burns are
possible in DTFsthermal and chemical. Whether
thermal or chemical, burns are injuries that can be
avoided by exercising caution.
Thermal burns are caused by open flames and hot
surfaces. Common dental items using open flames are
Bunsen burners and torches. Dental items that may be
hot include compound and wax heaters, sterilizers, and
items in the sterilizers, such as instruments. Constant
awareness of the use, condition, and location of these
items is essential to prevent thermal injury. Equipment
should be located in an area convenient for use while
minimizing the chance of accidental burns. Flames are
difficult to see, so make a habit of keeping them away
from flammable liquids, materials, and yourself.
Always use heat-resistant gloves or the device
supplied by the manufacturer to remove items from
sterilizers. Always allow sterilized items to cool
before using. Items should never be taken out of the
sterilizer and placed directly on the instrument tray for
use or placed directly into a patients mouth.
Chemical burns result from contact with a caustic
agent, whereas, damage from thermal burns cease
when the heat source is removed. Chemical burns may
continue below the skin long after removing the agent
from the skins surface. A caustic chemical burn must
be neutralized. When handling caustic chemicals, you
should know what the neutralizer is and where it is
located. Often, the neutralizer cannot penetrate the
skin with the same efficiency as the caustic agent.
Immediate treatment by professional medical
personnel is essential.
Chemical burns of the eyes and skin can result
from careless use of many materials such as etchant
acids, radiographic solutions, endodontic materials,
and bleaching agents.
Protective eyewear should
always be worn when handling hazardous liquid
chemicals for protection against splash hazards.
Proper storage of chemicals is critical for safety.
ADDITIONAL HAZARDS IN THE DENTAL
Additional hazards or safety items are associated
with the dental environment. This includes allergens
and sensitizing agents, visible light, injury by
projectiles, noise, and psychological effects.
Allergens and Sensitizing Agents
Many patients or personnel may be allergic to one
or more of the materials used in the DTF. Other
individuals may develop allergies or sensitivities from
the use or misuse of materials. Dust from poor
housekeeping, grinding, or buffing and polishing can
Chemicals in medicaments or
disinfectants, sterilizer solutions, formalin, solvents,
acrylic resins, impression materials, radiographic
solutions, waxes, cements, unset composites, and