In this case, among 894 patients treated for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at the Virginia hospital, nine patients - or 1% - were identified as dentists or dental technicians.
In April, 2016, a Virginia dentist who had just been diagnosed with IPF and was undergoing treatment at a specialty clinic called the CDC with a warning: Several other dental professionals had sought treatment at the same facility. Though the agency has mentioned that dentists and dental personnel are exposed to ionizing radiation, airborne particulates, chemicals, infectious agents and other likely hazardous materials. It is, however, known that 75 percent of IPF patients are male and nearly all patents are more than 50 years of age. Also, those eight dentists and one only dental technician were men, with an average age of 64.
The report reads that one of the patients - from the two who didn't die - reported not using any protection, like masks, while polishing dental appliances and preparing impressions. "At this time, we do not know what caused this cluster of IPF cases in dental personnel. Although no clear etiologies for this cluster exist, occupational exposures possibly contributed". He concluded saying that the "CDC will follow up on this newly recognized cluster".More news: Jets now lead National Football League in cap space following Browns trades
About 650,000 dental personnel work throughout the nation, he said.
The CDC investigated - and they now say there may be a connection between a higher rate of the condition at that tertiary care center, and among people who work in dentists' offices.
Although the reason behind this remains unsuspected, there might be certain factors contributing towards growth of this disease such as smoking, viral infection, exposure of toxic substance at the time of polishing the dental appliances without wearing any surgical mask for safety goal in order to avoid the damage caused to the body by inhaling the dust particles, as per chief policy officer of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry's Pediatric Oral Health & Research Center, Paul Casamassimo, shared with CNN.
For years, dentists have been exposed to plaster and dust from drilling, in addition to the toxic substances listed in the report.More news: US House speaker urges Donald Trump to drop new tariffs plan
Older dentists usually fare worse, both because of increased opportunities for exposure and because they may have practiced at a time when safety standards weren't as stringent.
"We do work with materials and with human bioproducts that are potentially damaging to our bodies if we inhale them", said Casamassimo.
"Dentists now do far less laboratory work in most instances even while training in school", Casamassimo told CBS News. Though his father did not die of pulmonary fibrosis, he had respiratory problems. Something in their workplace environment may have been poisoning them, investigators said, although they don't know what.More news: Bills have 'some interest' in QB Sam Bradford — NFL free agency
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