Genotoxicity among Hairdressers and the Level of Commitment to Occupational Safety Measures at Beauty Salons, in Zagazig City, Egypt


Hairdressers are chronically exposed to several occupational hazards during their work including potentially genotoxic chemicals. Hair dying, hair smoothening and straightening products are hazardous chemicals that affect human health and are frequently used in beauty salons. So, this study aimed to evaluate the genotoxic risk among the studied hairdressers, to estimate the level of p-phenylenediamine (p-PDA) in urine and to assess the degree of adherence of the studied hair- dressers to occupational safety measures at work. A comparative cross sectional study was carried out on 40 hairdressers working in beauty salons in Zagazig city, Egypt and 40 administrative staff at faculty of medicine as a control group. The results of the study revealed a significant increase in mean concentration of urinary p-PDA as well as significant increase in DNA damage assessed by Comet assay in lymphocytes among studied hairdressers than among their controls. Also, there was a statistically significant decrease in adherence to most of the occupational safety precaution measures that should be followed by the studied hairdressers. The significant risk factors of high Comet total mean score among the studied hairdressers were occupational use of hair straightening ≥8 times/week, use of hair dyes at work ≥15 times/week, length of service ≥13 years, negligence of wearing gloves during work, use of bleaching agents ≥12/week and negligence of hand wash after handling chemicals. So, it was concluded that the hairdressers are occupationally exposed to the risk of genotoxic hazards from chemicals frequently used in their work. The lack of commitment to occupational safety measures at beauty salons like wearing gloves during work and hand washing increases the risk of genotoxicity.

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Hammam, R. , Ghareeb, N. , Arafa, M. and Atteia, H. (2014) Genotoxicity among Hairdressers and the Level of Commitment to Occupational Safety Measures at Beauty Salons, in Zagazig City, Egypt. Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, 2, 19-29. doi: 10.4236/odem.2014.22003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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