Occupational asthma and occupational rhinitis in hairdressers

Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino, Piedmont, Italy
Chest (Impact Factor: 7.13). 12/2005; 128(5):3590-8. DOI: 10.1378/chest.128.5.3590
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hairdressers are at risk for occupational respiratory diseases, but the risk factors, causal agents, and underlying mechanisms are not completely defined.
To describe the features of a large group of hairdressers consecutively referred to our center for suspected occupational asthma (OA) over an 8-year period, the type of occupational respiratory diseases, the etiologic agents, and the diagnostic tests.
Forty-seven hairdressers (mean age, 25 years; range, 17 to 52 years) were studied. On the basis of the response to the specific inhalation challenge (SIC), 24 patients received a diagnosis of OA (51.1%), which was due to persulfate salts in 21 patients (87.5%), permanent hair dyes in 2 patients (8.3%), and latex in 1 patient (4.2%). Thirteen of these 24 patients (54.2%) also received a diagnosis of occupational rhinitis, which was due to persulfate salts in 11 patients (84.6%) and to paraphenylenediamine in two patients (15.4%). Patients with persulfate asthma had a long period of exposure to bleaching agents, a long latent period between the start of exposure and the onset of symptoms, and a prevalent eosinophilic airway inflammation in induced sputum. The skin-prick test with ammonium persulfate performed in a subset of patients gave negative results
In the present study, we confirmed that persulfate salts are the major agents involved in OA and occupational rhinitis in hairdressers. The positive response to the SIC in only a part of the population of symptomatic exposed workers, the period between the starting of exposure and the onset of symptoms, the type of response to the SIC, and the high frequency of association of asthma with other diseases such as dermatitis and rhinitis suggest an immunologic mechanism that remains to be elucidated.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective. This study evaluated the frequencies of allergic symptoms and rate of upper respiratory infections during the past year in the general population, kitchen workers (KW) and health care workers (HCW). Methods. The European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) was used to inquire retrospectively about asthma and asthma-like symptoms and the number of treatments required for previous upper respiratory tract infections (URTI: acute pharyngitis, acute sinusitis, etc.) during the past year for health care workers, kitchen workers, and members of the general population. Adjusted odds ratios by gender, age, and smoking status were calculated. Results. 579 subjects (186 from the general population, 205 KW, and 188 HCW; 263 females, 316 males) participated in the study. Noninfectious (allergic) rhinitis was significantly higher in the HCW and KW groups than in the general population (P < 0.001). Cumulative asthma was significantly higher only in the HCW group (P < 0.05). In addition, the HCW and KW groups had significantly higher risks of ≥2/year URTI (OR: 1.59, 95% CI: 1.07-2.38 versus OR: 1.57, 95% CI: 1.05-2.38) than the general population. Conclusion. Occupational allergic respiratory diseases are an important and growing health issue. Health care providers should become familiar with workplace environments and environmental causes of occupational rhinitis and asthma.
    11/2013; 2013:285420. DOI:10.1155/2013/285420
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives Hairdressers often complain of work-related rhinitis (WR). They are infrequently sensitized to persulphates. The cause and mechanism of the symptoms and the effects on their health-related quality of life (HRQoL) remains unclear. The objectives were to follow female hairdressers with WR mainly from bleaching powder regarding nasal reactivity to persulphate and to evaluate symptoms, HRQoL and inflammatory markers in nasal lavage during a working period after vacation and compared with hairdressers without symptoms and pollen allergic women. Methods Skin prick tests to persulphate were performed in the hairdressers. Participants kept a diary of symptoms and of work tasks (hairdressers only). They completed HRQoL questionnaires. Eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) in nasal lavage fluid was examined. The symptomatic hairdressers performed nasal challenges with persulphate before and after the exposure. Results Skin prick tests were negative. Although the nasal reactivity to persulphate did not change a steady increase in nasal symptoms, especially blockage, and in ECP was noticed in the symptomatic hairdressers. The HRQoL deteriorated in the symptomatic hairdressers indicating an effect on their working situation and daily life. The atopics had more, but varying symptoms (itching, sneezing and secretion). Conclusions The difference in the clinical picture between the symptomatic hairdressers and the pollen allergic women, the increase in symptoms and ECP in the nasal lavage support the view that a sensitization to hairdresser chemicals by a mechanism not yet understood is operating. The deterioration of the HRQoL in the symptomatic hairdressers indicates a considerable effect on their life.
    International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 12/2012; 87(1). DOI:10.1007/s00420-012-0835-8 · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hairdressing is predominantly a female activity, in which several chemicals are handled, some of which are known to be allergenic and potentially carcinogenic. Several epidemiological studies showed an association between occupational exposure to chemicals in hairdressing salons and skin and respiratory-tract conditions. The aim of this study were to characterize the occupational exposure to total volatile organic compounds (VOC) and ammonia (NH₃) in 50 Portuguese hairdressers' salons and to analyze the prevalence of respiratory and skin symptoms in 134 hairdressing professionals. Data indicated that internal sources of total VOC are mainly due to indoor sources, with average concentrations (1.4 mg/m³) above the Portuguese reference levels (0.6 mg/m³). Of the hairdressers' salons studied, 4% had a mean NH₃ concentration higher than Portuguese (20 ppm) and American Conference of Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) (25 ppm) reference levels. Hand dermatitis was the occupational symptom most reported by hairdressers (50%), followed by eye irritation (43%). The results of this study suggest that hairdressers' occupational activities are linked with higher risk of developing hand and wrist/arm dermatitis and symptoms in the upper respiratory tract. The proper use of disposable gloves, hands, wrists, and arms skin monitoring, and the frequent use of moisturizers in the workplace are effective measures to prevent the occurrence of dermatitis in these professionals. Displacement ventilation and/or local exhaust with adequate air exchange rate are recommended particularly in technical areas where hairdressing chemicals are mixed.
    Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A 08/2011; 74(15-16):993-1000. DOI:10.1080/15287394.2011.582027 · 1.83 Impact Factor