Toxic Chemicals Put Salon Workers at Risk

Salon workers are frequently exposed to products that contain harmful chemicals and are linked to certain cancers, reproductive issues and asthma, according to a report from the environmental health advocacy group, Women’s Voices for the Earth.

These products contain chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene and ammonium persulfate. More than 60% of salon workers have contracted skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and rashes as a result of exposure to these chemicals. One study found that 9.3% of cosmetologists surveyed in Colorado had doctor-diagnosed asthma, and that hairstyle and nail work increased the risk of an asthma diagnosis.

In a nail salon study, 44% of workers had headaches that lessened after they left work, and 28% experienced lightheadedness or difficulty concentration at work.

Researchers recommend using better ventilation in these salons, safer products and personal protective equipment. The safety group call for greater research and stricter legislation on salon products and urges manufacturers to disclose all product ingredients and provide safety information in multiple languages.

Source: Safety and Health Magazine