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Reproductive outcomes in salon employees (ROSE).

Flaws JA; Zacur H; Miller S; Gallicchio L
Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, R01-OH-008579, 2009 Nov; :1-14
Cosmetologists constitute a major occupational group of female workers who sustain chemical exposures during their reproductive lifespan. In fact, there are between 500,000 and 750,000 cosmetologists in the United States alone, and 80-85% of these workers are women. The National Occupational Exposure Survey indicates that cosmetologists are regularly exposed to many chemicals, including dibutyl phthalate (CAS Number 84-74-2), N-hydroxymethylacrylamide (CAS Number 924-42-5), ethylene glycol (CAS Number 107-21-1), and 2,2 bis(BM)1,3-propanediol (CAS Number 3296-90-0). This poses a serious human health concern because these chemicals have been prioritized for study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) due to the potential for a large number of workers to be exposed to the chemicals and evidence that the chemicals adversely affect reproduction or development in animal models (please see RFA-OH-05-003). Despite the large number of cosmetologists exposed to chemicals prioritized for study by NIOSH and the ability of such chemicals to cause reproductive toxicity in animal models, little was known about reproductive function in cosmetologists. Thus, this study tested the hypothesis that exposure to chemicals used in cosmetology businesses is associated with reproductive abnormalities in women through mechanisms involving destruction of ovarian follicles. To test this hypothesis, we determined whether cosmetologists have an increased risk of reproductive abnormalities compared to women who are not cosmetologists (specific aim 1) and investigated whether cosmetologists have reduced ovarian volume and follicle numbers compared to women who are not cosmetologists (specific aim 2). To complete the specific aims, we designed and conducted a large survey-based study of cosmetologists and non-cosmetologists who were residents of the Baltimore metropolitan region (please note this includes Baltimore city and its surrounding counties). We named this study Reproductive Outcomes in Salon Employees (ROSE). The final study sample consisted of 450 cosmetologists and 512 women employed in other occupations. This study sample was used to examine pregnancy outcomes, infertility, and premature ovarian failure (an indicator of ovarian volume and follicle numbers) in cosmetologists compared to non-cosmetologists. The data indicate that are no statistically significant associations between occupation and adverse pregnancy outcomes after adjustment for age, race, education, and smoking and alcohol use at the time of pregnancy. A statistically significant association was found between race and low birth weight such that non-white women were at increased risk of reporting a low birth weight baby compared to white women (OR 3.35; 95% CI 1.53 to 7.26). Similarly, current smoking was found to be positively associated with miscarriage (OR 1.53; 95% CI 1.09 to 2.16) and miscarriage or stillbirth (OR 1.64; 95% CI 1.18 to 2.28). In additional analyses, infertility was assessed with questions addressing time-to-pregnancy (TTP) length (>12 months), consulting a medical professional about fertility problems, taking medication to become pregnant or to maintain a pregnancy. Occupational exposure was assessed by job tasks and customers served per week. We found no statistically significant associations between working as a cosmetologist and the odds of TTP>_12 months, consulting a medical professional about infertility, or taking medication to either become pregnant or maintain a pregnancy. Further, the data indicate that 3.2% of hairdressers and 1.4% of women working in other occupations reported premature ovarian failure (POF). Among Caucasian women 40 to 55 years of age, hairdressers were more than five times as likely to report POF compared to non-hairdressers (OR 5.58; 95% CI 1.24, 25.22). Collectively, these data indicate that hairdressers may not be at an increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes and infertility, but they may be at increased risk for POF compared to women employed in other occupations.
Humans; Women; Hairdressers; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Hazards; Health-hazards; Workers; Work-environment; Work-areas; Reproductive-hazards; Reproductive-system; Reproductive-system-disorders; Reproduction; Reproductive-effects
Jodi Anne Flaws, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois, 2001 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana, IL 61802
84-74-2; 924-42-5; 107-21-1; 3296-90-0
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division