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Beauty Shop Chemical Linked to Asthma

Study identifies persulfate salts as the main cause of occupational respiratory disease in hairdressers

FRIDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The persulfate salts in bleaching agents are primarily responsible for the occupational asthma and rhinitis seen in hairdressers, according to a study published in the November issue of Chest.

Gianna Moscato, M.D., of the Scientific Institute of Pavia, Italy, and colleagues studied 47 hairdressers over an eight-year period. They conducted specific inhalation challenges using substances such as persulfate salts, hair dyes and latex. They also conducted skin-prick tests with persulfate salts.

Measuring responses to specific inhalation challenge (SIC), the researchers diagnosed 24 subjects with occupational asthma, and 13 of the 24 subjects with occupational rhinitis. They determined that persulfate salts were responsible for 87.5% of the asthma and 84.6% of the rhinitis. Skin-prick tests with persulfate salts were negative.

"Although some observations suggest an underlying immunologic mechanism, we cannot confirm the involvement of an IgE-mediated mechanism for persulfate salt-induced asthma," the authors wrote. "Therefore, we confirm that the SIC is the gold standard for the diagnosis of persulfate asthma."

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