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Exposure of hairdressing apprentices to airborne hazardous substances.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Few studies have investigated exposure of hairdressing apprentices to airborne irritants. This study describes exposure levels of apprentices to chemical products used in hairdressing salons in relation with their activity. METHODS: Following a two stages study design, a group of 300 students completed a questionnaire on their work activities and environment. Among these, a group of 28 subjects volunteered to undergo personal exposure and workplace concentrations measurements over a work shift, during a cold and a hot season, with the agreement of the salon owners. Three chemical substances were studied (ammonia, hydrogen peroxide and persulfates) because they are respiratory tract irritants and because their concentrations could be quantified within a 5 to 8 hour shift period. RESULTS: Personal exposure values for H2O2 and NH3 (averages [standard deviations] are 0.05 [0.04] and 0.90 [0.76] mg.m(-3), respectively) were greater than workplace ambient air concentrations (corresponding values of 0.04 [0.03] and 0.68 [0.42] mg.m(-3)) for H2O2 and NH3, with no significant seasonal variation. By contrast, workplace concentrations of persulfates (0.019 [0.018] mg.m(-3)) were greater than personal exposure (0.016 [0.021] mg.m(-3), a finding that is consistent with the fact that bleaching is more often undertaken by senior hairdressers. However, all exposure values were lower than the current TLV TWA values. This study also shows that over half of technical spaces where chemical substances used for dying, permanenting or bleaching are manipulated, have no ventilation system, and not even a door or a window opening outside. CONCLUSION: The study hairdressing salons, on average, were small, the most probable reason why occupational hygiene measures such as appropriate ventilation were too seldom implemented. As a consequence, young apprentices and senior hairdressers experience substantial exposure to known airways irritants.
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Contributor : Delphine Autard <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 22, 2006 - 4:30:24 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - 11:38:27 AM
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Estelle Mounier-Geyssant, Véronique Oury, Lory Mouchot, Christophe Paris, Denis Zmirou-Navier. Exposure of hairdressing apprentices to airborne hazardous substances.. Environmental Health, BioMed Central, 2006, 5, pp.23. ⟨10.1186/1476-069X-5-23⟩. ⟨inserm-00097936⟩

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