A study was conducted examining respirable dust exposures in the workplaces of dog groomers. Respirable dust exposures were measured using cassette nylon cyclone samplers worn by dog groomers and other employees in seven dog grooming shops. In addition, work activities were recorded. The mean respirable dust exposure was 0.14mg/m3, ranging from less than 0.01 to 0.31mg/m3. Shops using a special hair control system, the Clipper Vac, had the lowest dust levels; the highest levels were seen in shops with the greatest number of groomers and the least square footage. Other risk factors associated with dog grooming were poor body posture, excessive noise exposure, pesticide exposure, electrical hazards, and poor hygiene. Recommendations to improve workplace conditions in dog grooming facilities included bathing dogs prior to grooming to reduce exposure to respirable dust and infectious organisms, providing an adequate amount of floor space, use of hair control systems, use of low toxicity pesticides, use of proper personal protective equipment, use of rigorous personal hygiene procedures, use of prophylactic treatment for worms, requiring proof of immunization for all dogs and cats being groomed, requiring current tetanus immunizations for all personnel, having written procedures for cleaning of bite wounds, and providing all electrical outlets with ground fault circuit interrupters. Additional recommendations for occupational health professionals were presented.
Rebecca Stanevich, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505-2845