A study in the journal Allergy has found that dental assistants working with methacrylates, which are often used in dental filling materials and bonding agents such as those common in porcelain veneers, crowns, and orthodontic brackets, may be at risk of developing asthma or chronic respiratory symptoms.

Dental assistants may be exposed to airborne methacrylate particles when mixing materials containing the substance or during the replacement or removal of dental restorations.

The study, which included about 800 female Finnish dental assistants who had been asked to fill out a questionnaire on the frequency they perform certain tasks and their respiratory health, found methacrylate exposure and respiratory problems to be directly proportional.