Exposure to BTEX in beauty salons: biomonitoring, urinary excretion, clinical symptoms, and health risk assessments

  • Mahbobeh Moradi
  • Philip Hopke
  • Mostafa Hadei
  • Akbar Eslami
  • Noushin Rastkari
  • Zohreh Naghdali
  • Majid Kermani
  • Baharan Emam
  • Mohsen Farhadi
  • Abbas ShahsavaniEmail author


Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) concentrations were measured in beauty salons (BS) and in the urine of the beauty practitioners and a control group. Indoor and outdoor concentrations of BTEX were measured in 36 randomly selected salons. Before- and after-shift urinary BTEX were measured from one female non-smoker employee in each salon, and repeated three times. Clinical symptoms in that beautician were assessed by a physician. Thirty-six unexposed women were included as the control group. Cancer and non-cancer risks of exposure were assessed using deterministic and stochastic methods. Average indoor concentrations of BTEX were higher than those in the ambient air. Urinary BTEX concentrations in the beauty practitioners were significantly higher than in the control group. Linear regression showed that 77% of urinary benzene and toluene variations can be explained by their airborne concentrations. A positive significant relationship was found between age and urinary BTEX concentrations. Although the BTEX cancer and non-cancer risks were not significant, BTEX led to irritation of the eyes, throat, lung, and nose. In addition, toluene caused menstrual disorders among beauty practitioners. These results suggest that it is essential to decrease the exposure of beauty practitioners to BTEX compounds.


Benzene Menstrual disorder Cancer risk Hazard ratio Volatile organic compounds VOCs 


Funding information

This study was has supported by grant numbers#10856 from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

10661_2019_7455_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahbobeh Moradi
    • 1
  • Philip Hopke
    • 2
  • Mostafa Hadei
    • 3
  • Akbar Eslami
    • 1
  • Noushin Rastkari
    • 4
  • Zohreh Naghdali
    • 5
  • Majid Kermani
    • 6
  • Baharan Emam
    • 1
  • Mohsen Farhadi
    • 7
  • Abbas Shahsavani
    • 1
    • 8
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health and SafetyShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of Rochester School of Medicine and DentistryRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health (RCEDH)Kermanshah University of Medical SciencesKermanshahIran
  4. 4.Center for Air Pollution Research CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  5. 5.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthQazvin University of Medical SciencesQazvinIran
  6. 6.Research Center for Environmental Health TechnologyIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  7. 7.Ministry of Health and Medical EducationTehranIran
  8. 8.Environmental and Occupational Hazards Control Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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