Work-Related Respiratory Symptoms and Airway Disease in Hairdressers

GI Skoufi, E Nena, K Kostikas, GA Lialios, TC Constantinidis, Z Daniil, K Gourgoulianis


Background: Hairdressers are occupationally exposed to a number of agents in their workplace that result in respiratory symptoms and changes in pulmonary function.

Objective: To evaluate associations between occupational exposure and respiratory function and reported symptoms in a group of hairdressers compared to a control group.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusion: Worsening of symptoms and pulmonary function at workplace, and alleviating the symptoms at home, indicate that they may be related to occupational exposure.


Barbering; Occupational exposure; Respiratory tract diseases; Spirometry; Nitric oxide; Environmental exposure; Inhalation exposure

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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