New research study claims hair bleach may cause asthma
Researchers have found a link between exposure to persulphate
salts – the chemicals in some hair bleaching agents – and
incidents of hair stylists developing occupational asthma and
rhinitis (chronic runny nose).
The November 2005 issue of the journal "Chest" reported that
Italian researchers performed allergy tests, lung function tests
inhalation challenge on 47 hair stylists suspected of having occupational
asthma. All participants had been exposed to persulphate salts
in bleaching products for an average of seven years.
As reported, the study found that 51 percent of the hair stylists
were diagnosed with occupational asthma; 87.5 percent of those
cases were attributed to exposure to persulphate salts. The other
cases were attributed to permanent hair dyes (8.3 percent) and
latex (4.2 percent.)
Over 54 percent of the hair stylists were diagnosed with rhinitis,
and close to 85 percent of those cases were attributable to persulphate
salts. The study also noted that 36 percent of the stylists were
diagnosed with occupational dermatitis.
Stylists diagnosed with occupational asthma related to persulphate
salts had a long period of exposure to bleaching agents and a
long period between the start of the exposure and the onset of
The researchers claimed their paper confirmed long held suspicions
that persulfate salts are the major agents involved
in occupational asthma and occupational rhinitis in hairdressers.
The positive test results and the
high frequency of association of asthma with other diseases such
as dermatitis and rhinitis suggest an immunologic mechanism that
remains to be elucidated.
research study claims hair bleach may cause asthma references
- Moscato G, Pignatti P, Yacoub MR, Romano C, Spezia S, Perfetti
L. Occupational asthma and occupational
rhinitis in hairdressers. Chest. 2005 Nov;128(5):3590-8. PMID: