May 18, 2024

“Concerning” – Hairdressers of Color Exposed to Potentially Hazardous Mix of Unknown Chemicals

” We know women are more highly exposed to chemicals in personal care products and we also know ladies of color have elevated direct exposures compared to females of other demographics,” said co-author and principal detective Lesliam Quirós- Alcalá, an assistant teacher of Environmental Health and Engineering who studies chemical direct exposures health results in underrepresented populations. There are more than 700,000 hairdressers in the United States, more than 90% of whom are approximated to be female, and 30% are Black or Hispanic/Latina. In this mainly female labor force, with lots of ladies of reproductive age, exposures might not only pose a femaless health concern but also a childrens health issue as exposures throughout the prejudgment and prenatal period could increase kidss health risks, Quirós- Alcalá said. About half the hairdressers in this study reported working in the beauty salon while pregnant.

Researchers tested urine samples from Black and Hispanic hairdressers in the United States and compared them to samples from women of color working in workplace jobs. Because of the items utilized and services provided in hair salons serving mostly populations of color, hairdressers of color are suspected to have more chemical exposures than stylists of other demographics.
Unlike standard research studies, the team didnt only measure for chemicals expected to be found in individuals dealing with hair products, they searched for other substances that had actually not been previously examined.
” The standard approaches just try to find chemicals we may anticipate to be present, however these products include a lot of various chemicals, and not all of them are known,” stated senior author Carsten Prasse, an assistant professor of ecological health and engineering who studies public and ecological health effects of chemicals in the environment. “We wished to open the lens and find possible other chemicals that hairdressers may be exposed to so that we might inform future policies of these chemicals.”
Utilizing the exact same strategy, the Prasse Lab recently found vaping aerosols consist of countless unknown chemicals and compounds not divulged by manufacturers.
Compared to the females operating in workplaces, hairstylists had higher levels of chemicals in their bodies connected with salon treatments– hair relaxers, fragrances, conditioners, and dyes– but also numerous more substances the researchers could not determine.
” There are more chemical direct exposures in this occupation group than we anticipate,” said lead author Matthew N. Newmeyer, a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Added Quirós- Alcalá: “Its definitely concerning. A lot of these chemicals we do not even understand what health threats they may position.”
There are more than 700,000 hairdressers in the United States, more than 90% of whom are estimated to be female, and 30% are Black or Hispanic/Latina. In this predominantly female workforce, with numerous women of reproductive age, exposures might not only posture a ladiess health concern however likewise a kidss health concern as direct exposures throughout the prejudgment and prenatal duration could increase childrens health risks, Quirós- Alcalá said. About half the hairdressers in this research study reported working in the beauty parlor while pregnant.
The findings show more research studies are crucial to much better comprehend what hair stylists are exposed to on the task and to identify how best to alleviate these dangers and to attempt to reduce any health disparities, Prasse said.
” Its clearly an under-researched area,” he said, “and there is a racial measurement to it which must not be forgotten.”
Reference: “Implementing a suspect screening method to assess occupational chemical exposures amongst US-based hairdressers serving an ethnically varied clientele: a pilot study” by Matthew N. Newmeyer, Lesliam Quirós-Alcalá, Lucy K. Kavi, Lydia M. Louis and Carsten Prasse, 24 January 2023, Journal of Exposure Science & & Environmental Epidemiology.DOI: 10.1038/ s41370-023-00519-z.
The research study was funded by an NHLBI Career Development Award, an NIEHS Training grant, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The findings indicate the need for more research to completely comprehend the risks dealt with by hairdressers and to figure out the most reliable ways to decrease these risks.
According to scientists at Johns Hopkins University, Black and Hispanic hair stylists are exposed to a complex mix of chemicals, much of which are unidentified, possibly damaging, and not revealed on product labels.
The new research study, just recently released in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, is the first to use a sophisticated screening approach, typically used to identify chemicals in food and wastewater, to examine chemical exposures in hairdressers. The findings suggest the requirement for more research study to better understand the dangers dealt with by hair stylists, especially those from varied backgrounds, and to determine the most efficient ways to minimize these threats.
” We understand women are more extremely exposed to chemicals in individual care products and we also understand ladies of color have actually raised exposures compared to women of other demographics,” said co-author and primary investigator Lesliam Quirós- Alcalá, an assistant professor of Environmental Health and Engineering who studies chemical direct exposures health impacts in underrepresented populations. “We questioned, what about ladies who are doing this as a profession? How much more are they being exposed to? There truly wasnt anything out there when we began this.”