The cosmetology industry, particularly the nail salon sector, has undergone dramatic growth in the last few decades. Hair and nail care workers handle cosmetic products that contain numerous hazardous compounds, some of which have been linked to miscarriages and other reproductive problems. Given that the vast majority of workers are women of childbearing age, there have been growing health concerns about the effects of these chemicals on workers and their children. In this California statewide study, we examine whether women working as cosmetologists and manicurists during pregnancy have a higher risk of adverse birth outcomes due to occupational exposures to dangerous chemicals. We will link together California’s statewide cosmetology licensee and birth registry files. Findings from the study can help inform ways to keep workers safe as well as chemical policy reforms.
Thu Quach, Ph.D., Peggy Reynolds, Ph.D.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences