The Occupational Information Network, a US Department of Labor database, looked at the health risks associated with 974 jobs. They evaluated risk factors such as exposure to radiation, disease, contaminants, infections, etc. The goal of the study was to rank the ‘Most Unhealthy Jobs’ in America.
Not surprisingly, the dental profession ranked number one. But this isn’t a “good” number one! This ranking means the dental profession is considered the unhealthiest job in America – out of 974 other occupations.
It makes sense, though. It’s been said that the oral cavity houses numerous infectious organisms including more than 350 different types of bacteria. That’s a problem because dental procedures (specifically the use of dental instruments) can stir up these organisms and scatter hazardous bio-aerosols through the air. These can then stay airborne for hours… and, keep in mind, a dental office can see 40-50 patients in a day.
If that isn’t bad enough, the dental products used by clinicians can also contribute to poor indoor air quality. For example, mercury vapors spread through the air during the removal of old amalgam fillings. Most dental practices also use formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, and/or nitrous oxide. This is not to mention the chemical disinfectants used for surface cleaning.
And you can’t always rely on the HVAC system to clean the air in a dental practice. The HVAC system can sometimes further exacerbate poor indoor air quality conditions because they sometimes recirculate these harmful airborne pollutants.
That’s why it’s imperative for every dental practive to have medical-grade air filtration like Austin Air. The Austin Air purifiers have a 360-degree air intake system to ensure the entire space is cleaned.
According to the CDC, WHO, and EPA air purifiers using HEPA and Carbon are the safest and most effective solutions for minimizing the spread of viruses in indoor spaces. Thankfully, the Austin Air Healthmate Plus uses true medical grade HEPA proven to remove 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns and 99% of all particles larger than 0.1 microns.
The Healthmate Plus also contains activated carbon, potassium iodide-impregnated carbon, and Zeolite to remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, benzenes, chemicals, gases, and odors commonly found in dental offices. This is what differentiates Austin Air from competitors as most other air purifiers do not have this.
Austin Air uses up to 15 lbs. of activated carbon and 60 sq. ft. of HEPA in our filters. No one else in the industry comes close to using that much.
The Austin Air Healthmate Plus™
All of our units use the highest quality Medical Grade HEPA and carbon blend to effectively filter a wide range of contaminants, including chemicals and VOCs, allergens, dust, viruses, and bacteria. Our extended filter life (lasting up to five years) combined with our durable steel casing make Austin Air Purifiers the number one choice in all healthcare settings. No maintenance, no costly filter changes. Just plug it in and let it run 24/7.
1. Biological Aerosols: Biological aerosols come from patients and staff inside the dental office via coughing, sneezing, and touching/contaminating surfaces.
2. Silica: Crystalline silica is found in alginate impressions, dental porcelains, and dental models or casts. Silica exposures have also been linked to other illnesses such as kidney disease and lung cancer.
3. Metals and Amalgams: Amalgams are a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper. Approximately 50 percent of the dental amalgam is elemental mercury.
4. Waste Anesthetic Gases: Common anesthetic gases used in dentistry include nitrous oxide and halogenated compounds such as halothane, enflurane, isoflurane, desflurane, and sevoflurane. One of the challenges of managing WAG exposure is the lack of detectable odor until very high concentrations are reached.
5. Sterilants and Disinfectants: harmful exposure to chemical disinfectants and sterilants can cause mucous membrane and respiratory health effects.
6. Lasers: Lasers present an airborne threat through the inhalation of vapor or surgical smoke.
7. Waterborne Bacteria: Several dental procedures can result in the aerosolization of building water and the mycobacterium species that colonize in it.
Average mass concentrations of submicrometer PM1 particles and supermicrometer PM>1 particles during dental procedures were respectively 3.8 and 6.5 times higher than in the period when no procedures were conducted. They were also respectively 15.9 and 19.5 times higher than their average outdoor levels.