The relationship between exposure to hair sprays and respiratory disease was studied among 262 student cosmetologists, 213 practicing beauticians, and 569 unexposed females. Subjects were given a respiratory questionnaire, chest x-rays, and forced expiratory spirograms. Individual and environmental hair spray particulate concentrations were measured. A subgroup of the study population was given additional, more extensive, pulmonary function tests and sputum analysis. Compared to the unexposed comparison group, the cosmetologists had an increased prevalence of chronic respiratory disease symptoms, small airway obstruction, and abnormal sputum cytology. These increases were related to duration of exposure. Practicing beauticians with longer exposure in salons with high environmental concentrations of hair spray particulates, had more chest x-ray abnormalities than the other 2 groups. Particulate concentrations were greatest in small salons, and smallest in colleges. Personal breathing zone concentrations correlated with respiratory symptomatology. The authors conclude that exposure to hair spray is related to obstructive lung disease, and may be related to thesaurosis.