Occupational respiratory morbidity among hair and beauty salon workers in Udupi taluk, Karnataka, India


Background: The Indian hair and beauty salon industry is growing rapidly due to the demand for beauty and personal care services and products. Workers in the industry are vulnerable to several occupational factors such as chemicals, confined space, and poor ventilation. Chemicals in the products used are known or suspected to cause allergies, respiratory, neurological and reproductive health problems and cancer.

Methods: The present study was carried out to determine the factors associated with the occurrence of respiratory morbidity among hair and beauty salon workers of Udupi taluk, Karnataka, India. A total of 240 salon workers were recruited for the study. A semistructured, interviewer-led questionnaire was used to collect data. Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) was done using a JSB peak flow meter.

Results: The frequency of respiratory morbidity among participating beauty salon workers was 19%. Men reported respiratory symptoms more frequently than women. Receiving training on work materials and practices was a significant protective factor (odds ratio = 0.3; 95% confidence interval: 0.1-0.7) for the occurrence of respiratory morbidity. The mean observed PEFR in these workers was significantly lower than their predicted values. While 61.2% of the workers were using some form of personal protective equipment, only 4% of workers used a mask or respiratory protection.

Conclusion: Hair and beauty salon workers are at risk of developing respiratory morbidity potentially from harmful exposures and lack of effective control measures at the workplace.

Authors: Shubhi Tomar, Rajnarayan R Tiwari, Garima Verma
; Full Source: American journal of industrial medicine 2020 Aug 16. doi: 10.1002/ajim.23171.