Reproductive disorders due to chemical exposure among hairdressers
The evidence for reproductive disorders due to chemical exposure among hairdressers was evaluated. To this end, a literature study was conducted on Medline for the years 1985--1993. Reproductive disorders in humans were described for solvents such as ethanol and dichloromethane found mainly in hair sprays. Reproductive effects of several dye formulations, ethylene glycol ethers, nitrosamines, formaldehyde, hexachlorophene and phthalic esters cannot be excluded, but few human data on low concentrations of these agents were available. Associations with menstrual disorders and spontaneous abortions were found in epidemiological studies focused on hairdressers. Other studies showed inconsistent results, probably due to methodological shortcomings (misclassification of exposure, small sample sizes). It is concluded that there is little evidence for reproductive disorders among hairdressers to date. Limited availability of human data and unknown effects of chemical mixtures calls for future research focussed on human reproductive risks among hairdressers with emphasis on exposure assessment in the hairdressing salon.