PILOT STUDY OF CONTACT SENSITIZATION OF FORMALDEHYDE-RELEASERS, FORMALDEHYDE AND GLUTARALDEHYDE IN DENTAL STUDENTS
Introduction: Occupational allergic contact sensitization is common in dental personnel. Some of the most common occupational allergens in dental practice are some formaldehyde-releasers, formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde.
Aim: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the rate of contact sensitization to formaldehyde, quaternium-15, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, and to glutaraldehyde in students of dental medicine and dental patients.
Material and methods: A total of 50 participants were included in the study: 40 students of dental medicine exposed to formaldehyde-releasers, formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde during the course of their education; 10 dental patients without occupational exposure to the latter substances served as a control group. All of them were patch-tested with the studied allergens.
Results: The sensitization rate to formaldehyde was significantly higher in the group of dental patients if compared to the one of dental students (?2=5.37; p=0.021). Positive skin patch test reactions to quaternium-15 and to imidazolidinyl urea were observed only in the group of dental students. A significantly higher rate of sensitization to diazolidinyl urea, if compared to the one to imidazolidinyl urea (?2=5.4; p=0.02) and to quaternium-15 (?2=6.76; p=0.009), as well as to glutaraldehyde, if compared to the one to quaternium-15 (?2=3.96; p=0.04) for the whole studied population was established. For the whole studied population, significantly increased rate of concomitant sensitization to formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde (?2=6.18 p=0.013), as well as to diazolidinyl urea and to glutaraldehyde was established (?2=9.12 p=0.003).
Conclusions: We consider the importance of exposure to diazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15, imidazolidinyl urea and glutaraldehyde during the course of practical education in dentistry for the onset of sensitization. The exposure to formaldehyde is ubiquitous and is difficult to distinguish the roles of environmental and occupational exposures. The promotion of proper personal protection as well as adequate information on occupational chemical hazards should start as early as during the first years of education in dentistry.
Key words: contact sensitization, students of dental medicine, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, glutaraldehyde
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