|Dr. Paul Baraban makes splints
with methyl methacrylate inside of a
Sentry Air Systems Ductless Fume Hood
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains that exposure to methyl methacrylate is typically occupational and that manufacturers of the compound and its polymers, along with dentists, dental technicians, nurses, and doctors are potential candidates for exposure.
Acute effects include irritation to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes in humans; possible allergic response to dermal exposure; respiratory symptoms including chest tightness and coughing; neurological symptoms including headache, lethargy, and lightheadedness.
Chronic effects include respiratory symptoms, nasal symptoms, and reduced lung function in workers exposed chronically; cardiovascular disorders in humans from high occupational doses (in one study).
Studies were performed on rats where maternally-toxic levels of methyl methacrylate resulted in fetal abnormalities including, but not limited to decreased fetal weight, skeletal anomalies, and decreased crown-rump length. No adequate studies for humans are available regarding this topic.
The EPA considers methyl methacrylate not likely to be a human carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer says the following about the compound: “Methyl methacrylate is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3)”. According to the EPA hazard summary:
- “From a retrospective epidemiology study, a causal relationship between occupational exposure and increased incidences of colon and rectal cancers has been suggested; however, the causal relationship could not be established when relative accumulated total exposure and latency were considered”
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL): 100 ppm, 410 mg/m3 TWA (for General, Construction, and Maritime Industries)
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 50 ppm, 205 mg/m3 TWA; 100 ppm, 410 mg/m3 STEL
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 100 ppm, 410 mg/m3 TWA
As noted earlier, one of the major routes of exposure to methyl methacrylate is through inhalation. As an air purification equipment provider, we’ve heard numerous complaints from dental staff about the fumes associated with this product. On NIOSH’s International Chemical Safety Card for Methyl Methacrylate, they provide prevention techniques for several hazards involved with exposure to the compound. Under inhalation exposure, they suggest “ventilation, local exhaust, or breathing protection.”
One respiratory safety engineering control that we typically recommend for dental applications that require the use of methyl methacrylate is a Ductless Fume Hood with Activated Carbon Filtration. Ductless Containment Hoods have been an excellent solution for controlling methy methacrylate fumes in dental and denture laboratories. We also offer several additional types of engineering safety controls that will effectively filter the odor if a ductless containment hood is not a viable option [Example: a portable fume extractor with flexible arm- Model # SS-300-PFS].
Dr. Baraban uses a Ductless Fume Hood when working with Methyl Methacrylate
Dr. Baraban of Overland Park, Kansas uses an 24″ Wide Ductless Fume Hood [Model # SS-324-DCH] for his splint-making procedure. It features a carbon pre-filter and 10 lbs. of heavy-duty activated carbon. The recirculating air pattern of this hood does not require any exterior-ducting and does not waste costly heated and cooled air that traditional exhaust hoodswould normally expel outdoors.
|A 24″ Wide Ductless Fume Hood is
pictured above in Dr. Baraban’s Dental Lab
“I can’t tell you enough how wonderful it is making splints. I use to suffer headaches every time I smelled Methyl Methacrylate. When I did them the entire office smelled of it. Now that I have my hood never a headache and absolutely no smell in the office or lab area. Worth every penny!!!! It is of great comfort that I am also not exposing myself and office staff to a potential carcinogen. I highly recommend this product to all my friends that make Maxillary Anterior Guided Orthotics or any splints for that matter.”
For more information on this fume control solution and other options for dental labs and offices, give Sentry Air Systems a call at 1.800.799.4609, email us at email@example.com, or fill out this simple online form to receive additional information from a Sentry Air Systems Applications Specialist.
“Methyl Methacrylate: Hazard Summary”, Environmental Protection Agency, http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/methylme.html#ref8
“NIOSH Pocket Guide to Hazardous Chemicals: Methyl Methacrylate”, Center for Disease Control & Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0426.html
“Methyl Methacrylate”, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, http://www.osha.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/data/CH_254400.html
“International Chemical Safety Cards: Methyl Methacrylate”, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcsneng/neng0300.html