.................................

.................................

Media Release - WARNINGS ON HAIRDRESSING CHEMICALS FOUND TO BE INADEQUATE

 

05 Jun 2001


Chemicals commonly found as ingredients in bleaches used for hair-dressing have been assessed for their health effects by the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS).

The NICNAS assessment of ammonium, potassium and sodium persulfate was carried out after concerns were raised about their widespread use in the hairdressing industry and the prevalence of skin disease and asthma in that profession.

There was also concern as to whether the information included on the hazard warnings was adequate.

The report found that while occupational control measures are used in formulation plants to protect formulators of the products, no engineering controls are in place in hair salons.

As well, current labels for salon products lack warnings about respiratory sensitisation.

These chemicals are found in approximately 13 home-use consumer products and approximately 40 hairdressing salon products in use in Australia. The persulfate content of home-use products varies from 45% to 82.5% and in salon products from 22% to 88%.

Exposure effects in humans include contact hypersensitivity, contact urticaria, rhinitis, bronchitis and early and late onset asthma.

The report recommends the phasing out of those products that release dust at work.

The full report can be downloaded from the NICNAS website at the PEC 18 page.
 

About NICNAS

The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) operates under the Commonwealth Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989.

NICNAS is a statutory scheme within the portfolio of the Minister for Health and Ageing. Its approach to the scientific assessment of chemicals covers toxicity, exposure and use to assess the environmental, public health and occupational health and safety risk. For more information see the web site www.nicnas.gov.au
 

Further information

Nick Miller, NICNAS, (02) 8577 8810 or 0407 228 285

 

.................................