The University of Iowa

SAFETYmatters - Award Winning Journal Article

The award-winning paper was a result of a June 2020 study to determine what control methods would allow the College of Dentistry to re-open the student operatory spaces. The research and resulting paper were a collaboration between Justin Newnum, EHS Industrial Hygienist, Drs. Michael Kanellis and Brian Howe, College of Dentistry faculty, Dr. Renee Anthony, College of Public Health faculty, and Nicholas D’Antonio, College of Public Health graduate student. Nicholas was added to the research team in order to complete the practicum experience required for his master’s degree after COVID caused his scheduled internship to be cancelled. The study looked at the spread of aerosols from four common dental procedures (ultrasonic scaling, rubber cup polishing, high speed handpiece, and air water syringe) in the absence of ventilation controls compared with three types of ventilation (intraoral suction, extraoral suction and an Isovac). The study provided College of Dentistry staff the knowledge of the hazard and what safeguards would be most effective in controlling dental aerosols. Following the internal project, the authors decided to publish the results to provide the information to other dental offices that do not have access to EHS professionals. The paper was published in the March 2022 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH) under an open access license to ensure anyone who would benefit from the information could access it:

The paper, Assessment of respirable aerosol concentrations using local ventilation controls in an open multi-chair dental clinic, was selected by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Aerosol Technology Committee for the 2023 David L. Swift Memorial Award. This award is given to the best aerosol paper published in JOEH during the previous calendar year.  Eligible papers are rated on the (1) Development of an aerosol sampler or sensor; (2) Evaluation of an aerosol sampler or sensor or an aerosol sampling method; (3) Use of an aerosol or aerosol sampling device to test a piece of equipment; and/or, (4) Characterization of an aerosol in a workplace. The award will be presented in May at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo (AIHce EXP).

Picture of Dentistry Mannequin

Picture of Dentistry Staff