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A pilot study of occupational exposure to pathogenic microorganisms through lip cosmetics among dental hygienists

 Im‐hee Jung  ;  Ji‐hye Kim  ;  Yun‐Jung Yoo  ;  Bo‐young Park  ;  Eun‐sil Choi  ;  Hiejin Noh 
 JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH, Vol.61(4) : 297-304, 2019 
Journal Title
Issue Date
bacteria ; cosmetics ; dental hygienist ; lip ; masks
OBJECTIVES: In dental clinics, dental hygienists are exposed to aerosolized pathologic bacteria, which can be transmitted to the oral cavity via lip cosmetics. Accordingly, such contamination poses a consistent health risk among staffs. Our study examined the bacterial contamination of lip cosmetics used by dental hygienists while in a clinic setting. METHODS: Sixteen dental hygienists were surveyed regarding their job assignments and habits associated with lip cosmetic. Subsequently, microorganisms were analyzed in collected samples of the hygienists' lip cosmetics using colony-forming unit (CFU) assays, 16s-rDNA polymerase chain reaction, and DNA sequencing. RESULTS: Notably, 81.3% of the submitted lip cosmetic samples were contaminated, with bacterial CFUs ranging from undetectable to innumerable. Many samples (43.8%) exceeded the microbial limits of cosmetic contamination. Of the lip cosmetic used for more than 6 months, 60% exceeded the microbial limit. When wearing a mask every time, only one of the six samples exceeded the microbial limit. More frequent dental mask changing was associated with a lower likelihood that the cosmetic sample would exceed the microbial limit. No samples from hygienists who changed their masks four times a day exceeded the microbial limit, compared to 33.3% from hygienists who only changed the mask when it became wet. Most isolated bacteria were gram-positive, facultative anaerobic, asporogenic, and opportunistically pathogenic, and the most prevalent species were Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus salivarius, and Staphylococcus epidermidis. CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that dental staff, including dental hygienists, should exercise more careful workplace habits, particularly with regard to infection control and cosmetic use.
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2. College of Dentistry (치과대학) > Dept. of Oral Biology (구강생물학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Yoo, Yun Jung(유윤정) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0045-9597
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