Texas dental hygiene/dietitian occupational health study

Bonita Kuntz-Johnson, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Occupational asthma is the most common form of reported occupational respiratory disease in many industrialized countries. Recent studies show that environmental exposures account for up to 40% of the cases of asthma and that 2% to 15% of all cases of asthma are attributable to occupational exposures. In the dental workplace, dental hygienists are exposed to hazardous substances. Among these hazards are respiratory sensitizers, irritants and infectious agents. A cross-sectional study of Texas dental hygienists was conducted to assess the prevalence of occupational asthma. Registered dietitians were surveyed as a comparison group, because this group is similar in demographic makeup to dental hygienists, but conducts no clinical treatment with associated hazardous exposures. Neither the questionnaire survey nor the cover letter revealed the focus of this investigation. Three hundred and thirty five dental hygienists licensed to practice in the state of Texas as of January 1, 1999, and 320 dietitians that are also licensed by the state of Texas were randomly selected. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Subject Area

Dental care|Occupational safety

Recommended Citation

Kuntz-Johnson, Bonita, "Texas dental hygiene/dietitian occupational health study" (2001). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1406491.