Risk of cancer among hairdressers and related workers: a meta-analysis

Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
International Journal of Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 9.2). 09/2009; 38(6):1512-31. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyp283
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hairdressers and allied occupations represent a large and fast growing group of professionals. The fact that these professionals are chronically exposed to a large number of chemicals present in their work environment, including potential carcinogens contained in hair dyes, makes it necessary to carry out a systematic evaluation of the risk of cancer in this group.
We retrieved studies by systematically searching Medline and other computerized databases, and by manually examining the references of the original articles and monographs retrieved. We also contacted international researchers working on this or similar topics to complete our search. We included 247 studies reporting relative risk (RR) estimates of hairdresser occupation and cancer of different sites.
Study-specific RRs were weighted by the inverse of their variance to obtain fixed and random effects pooled estimates. The pooled RR of occupational exposure as a hairdresser was 1.27 (95% CI 1.15-1.41) for lung cancer, 1.52 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-2.08] for larynx cancer, 1.30 (95% CI 1.20-1.42) for bladder cancer and 1.62 (95% CI 1.22-2.14) for multiple myeloma. Data for other anatomic sites showed increases of smaller magnitude. The results restricted to those studies carried out before the ban of two major carcinogens from hair dyes in the mid-1970s were similar to the general results.
Hairdressers have a higher risk of cancer than the general population. Improvement of the ventilation system in the hairdresser salons and implementation of hygiene measures aimed at mitigating exposure to potential carcinogens at work may reduce the risk.


Available from: Agustín Montes, Jan 05, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Hairdressing is associated with exposure to a variety of harmful agents which have been linked to respiratory and musculoskeletal disorders in hairdressers. This study aimed to identify respiratory and musculoskeletal disorders in hairdressers compared to office workers. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 80 female hairdressers and 50 matched controls. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information on personal and occupational data, hairdressing activities, the presence of respiratory symptoms and the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in the past 12 months. Reported symptoms were compared between hairdressers and controls. The associations between self-reported symptoms and hairdressing activities were investigated. Hairdressers were more likely to report symptoms than controls particularly for those who were older, with higher body mass index and longer duration of work as hairdresser. There were significant associations between frequent hair treatments (bleaching, dye and wave) and hand dermatitis (P\0.001), running nose (P\0.05), eye irritation (P\0.01) and phlegm (P\0.05). Elbow pain and shoulder and back pain were the most prevalent musculoskeletal pains in the past 12 months (13.8 and 12.5 % respectively), back and knee pains were the most frequent chronic pain (7.5 %), hand and wrist pain led 12.5 % of hairdressers to visit a doctor and shoulder pain and back pain indicated a period of sickness absence in 13.8 % of hairdressers. Musculoskeletal disorders were associated with manual handling, prolonged standing, strenuous shoulder movements and awkward body posture. Hairdressing is associated with increased risk to respiratory and musculoskeletal disorders due to adverse work conditions.
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