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Hairdressers are occupationally exposed to a number of agents in their workplace that result in respiratory symptoms and changes in pulmonary function. To evaluate associations between occupational exposure and respiratory function and reported symptoms in a group of hairdressers compared to a control group. A questionnaire on respiratory symptoms and workplace characteristics was completed by 94 hairdressers and 39 age- and sex-matched controls. Spirometry and exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) measurements were also performed. Hairdressers reported more severe dyspnea (p=0.03) and eye (p=0.001) and throat (p=0.007) irritation, compared to the control group, at the workplace; no differences were noted at home. Lower FEV1/FVC (p<0.001) and higher FeNO values (p=0.012) were observed in hairdressers. A larger working area and presence of window ventilation were associated with better pulmonary function. Worsening of symptoms and pulmonary function at workplace, and alleviating the symptoms at home, indicate that they may be related to occupational exposure.


G I Skoufi, E Nena, K Kostikas, G A Lialios, T C Constantinidis, Z Daniil, K Gourgoulianis. Work-related respiratory symptoms and airway disease in hairdressers. The international journal of occupational and environmental medicine. 2013 Apr;4(2):53-60

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PMID: 23567530

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