Evaluation of the risk of infection through exposure to aerosols and spatters in dentistry

Published:April 04, 2008DOI:


      Many dental procedures produce extensive aerosols and splatters that are routinely contaminated with microorganisms.


      Air containing blood-bearing aerosols and surfaces contaminated by sedimenting blood particulate was sampled in 5 different dental cubicles. To assess contamination by blood particulate, the concentration of hemoglobin (Hb) in the air and on the sedimentation surfaces was determined.


      The mean concentration of Hb in the air aspirated in the 5 cubicles was 0.14 ± 0.23 μg/m3, corresponding to a blood volume of 8.7 × 10-4 μL/m3. Similarly, the mean concentration of blood particulate sedimented on surfaces was calculated and found to be 1.56 μL/m2. In 80% of the cubicles monitored, 100% positivity to the Hb determination test was recorded in all of the surface samples.


      The results obtained revealed contamination of both air and surfaces by blood particulate. Moreover, with the exception of those obtained in 1 cubicle, all of the samples of sedimenting particulate analyzed were positive for the presence of Hb.
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