Dental Lab Health & Safety FAQ’sGet answers to your dental compliance questions concerning health and safety in the dental lab. This information is based on the federal standards and may vary based on specific state plans.
New PEL is 50 μg/m3 (50 micrograms of silica per cubic meter of air), averaged over an 8-hour day.
New requirement: Measure the amount of silica that workers are exposed to if it may be at or above an action level of 25 μg/m3 (25 micrograms of silica per cubic meter of air), averaged over an 8-hour day.
New PEL is 0.2 μg/m3 (.02 micrograms of silica per cubic meter of air), averaged over an 8-hour day.
New requirement: Measure the amount of Beryllium that workers are exposed to if it may be at or above an action level of .01 μg/m3 (.01 micrograms of silica per cubic meter of air), averaged over an 8-hour day.
Establishes a Short-Term Exposure Limit (STEL) for beryllium of 2.0 μg/m3 over a 15-minute sampling period
3 shot series – spans 6 months
Titer drawn 1-2 months after 3rd shot
If positive, covered for life. No need to draw titers.
If negative, repeat the shot series, draw titer 1-2 months after third shot.
If still negative, the employee needs to be counseled by physician regarding what he/she will do if they have an exposure and that they must receive the HepB anti-globulin within 7 days of their exposure.
Now there is a two-shot series called HEPLISAV-B. On November 9, 2017, HEPLISAV-B(, Dynavax Technologies Corporation, Berkeley, California, USA), a single-antigen hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine with a novel immunostimulatory sequence adjuvant, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in persons aged ≥18 years. The vaccine consists of 2 doses administered 1 month apart (1). On February 21, 2018, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)* recommended HepB-CpG for use in persons aged ≥18 years.
You can contact the dentist and ask him what procedures he is taking to clean the impressions prior to shipment to the lab and ask him if he could at least rinse them with water prior to packaging.
Yes, the dental client should notify you, however, you should make that clear with your dental clients. If you are providing them information regarding how you will screen the patient upon their arrival to your lab for the services, then include your expectation that they notify you should this get this information after they’ve treated the patient.
We did some air monitoring and we were found to be in the acceptable range…
Therefore, we setup a voluntary system for wearing the dust mask and/or respirator. If the associate wishes to wear the mask, do we have to have a medical evaluation and fit test performed before they can wear it?
It will depend on the type of respirator that you’re providing. If it is the N95, then you don’t have to do the fit testing and medical questionnaire when it’s voluntary. You do need to give a copy of Appendix D to each of your employees who work with hazardous chemicals but use of the respirator is optional.
It is also a requirement under the Hazard Communication Standard that the employer provide a Safety Data Sheet to employees for hazardous chemicals used in the workplace. If the SDS indicates that ingestion is a route of entry, then no consumable products can be allowed in the areas where the chemical is used. Remember that eye drops, lip balm, etc. are consumable items, too.
We have found the best practice to be not to allow any consumable products in risk areas and production areas unless the employer can determine that there are no hazardous chemicals used in an area. To make it consistent throughout the work areas, we recommend eating, drinking, or use of consumable products be limited to the break room. Depending on the tasks performed in the administrative area, consumable products may be allowed in that area.
Medical Records: OSHA requires that you retain Medical Records for length of employment plus 30 years.