Indoor air quality in hairdressing salons in Taipei

To improve indoor air quality and to protect public health, Taiwan has enacted the ‘Indoor Air Quality Act (IAQ Act)’ in 2012. For the general public, the indoor air quality in hair salons is important because it is a popular location that people will often visit for hair treatments. However, only a few exposure assessments regarding air pollutants have previously been performed in hair salons. In order to assess the air quality of hairdressing environments in Taipei, ten hairdressing salons were included for a walk-through survey in this study. In addition, the airborne concentrations of formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), CO2, and phthalate esters were also determined in five salons. Charcoal, XAD-2, and OVS-Tenax tubes were used for the air sampling, while the samples were analysed with gas chromatography/mass spectrometer. It was found that the products used in hair salons contained various chemicals. In fact, from the walk-through survey, a total of 387 different ingredients were found on 129 hair product labels. The hair salons were not well ventilated, with CO2 levels of 600 to 3576 ppm. The formaldehyde concentrations determined in this study ranged from 12.40 to 1.04×10(3) ?g m(-3) , and the maximum level was above the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (US OSHA). Additionally, 83% of the samples were with levels higher than the standard regulated by Taiwan’s IAQ Act. The concentrations of VOCs and phthalate esters were below the occupational exposure limits (OELs), but higher than what was found in general residential environments. The hair products were considered as the major source of air pollutants because significantly higher concentrations were found around the working areas. The number of perming treatments, the number of workers, and the frequency of using formaldehyde releasing products, were found to be associated with the levels of formaldehyde. The authors concluded that this study indicates that efforts are needed to improve the indoor air quality in hairdressing salons in Taipei.

Authors: Chang CJ, Cheng SF, Chang PT, Tsai SW. ; Full Source: Indoor Air. 2017 Aug 4. doi: 10.1111/ina.12412. [Epub ahead of print]