Black hairdressers may be at high risk from toxic salon chemicals
BOSTON - There are about 700,000 hairdressers in the U.S. More than 90% are women, a third are Black and Hispanic or Latina, and they work with a variety of hair care products.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University studied 40 women of color and found that compared to office workers, Black and Hispanic hair stylists had higher levels of chemicals in their urine. Some of the chemicals were well known to scientists, but many others were a complete mystery.
Stylists of color often work with products like hair straighteners and dyes, which contain toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer and hormonal problems. But there was evidence that the stylists were also being exposed to chemicals potentially found in cleaning products and air fresheners.
Now, they want to find out the potential health impact of this chemical milieu and how to limit exposure for workers in hair salons.
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