Airborne exposure to chemical substances in hairdresser salons



Several studies indicate health problems among hairdressers to be related to their chemical exposure at work. The purpose of this study was to describe the exposure of chemical compounds in the air of Spanish hairdresser salons, and to study differences between salons in central and suburban areas. Ten hairdresser salons were examined for two days, by recording number and type of customers, ventilation and size of salon. Both stationary and personal borne samples for organic compounds were collected, as well as stationary samples of ammonia. TVOC was calculated. Air temperature, relative humidity, CO and CO2 were logged for 48 h in each salon. Fifty-six personal and 28 stationary samples were analysed for organic compounds. Thirty-five different air-borne compounds were found in the working environment of the hairdressers. All levels were well below the limit values in Spain and USA, both for ammonia and organic compounds. TVOC ranged from 48.37 mg/m3 to 237.60 mg/m3, meaning that many salons had levels above suggested comfort values of 25. There were only minor differences in exposure between central and suburban salons. No salons had ventilation systems, and the CO2 was increasing during the day. The exposure was higher for several chemical compounds when hair dying was performed. Hairdressers were exposed to low air levels of a large number of chemical substances mostly related to work related to hair dying. There were no differences between exposure levels in salons in central and suburban areas.


Dyes Hairdressers Temperature TVOC 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Ronda
    • 1
  • Bjorg Eli Hollund
    • 2
  • Bente E. Moen
    • 3
  1. 1.Public Health DepartmentUniversity of AlicanteAlicanteSpain
  2. 2.X-lab ASBergenNorway
  3. 3.Section for Occupational Medicine, Department of Public Health and Primary Health CareUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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