Safety and health risk perceptions: A cross-sectional study of New Jersey hair and nail salon clients

Lindsey J. Milich, Derek Shendell, Judith Graber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background There have been several studies of safety and health risks of employees of hair and nail salons, but less is known about client perception of these risks, or whether salon hazards pose safety and health (S&H) risks to salon clients. We assessed perceived S&H risks and prevalence of respiratory and dermal symptoms among hair and nail salon clients in New Jersey (NJ). Methods A questionnaire was administered to salon clients in three NJ counties in person or on-line. The questionnaire included a previously validated risk perception quiz (RPQ) and collected client data on: fungal, dermal, and respiratory symptom occurrence; knowledge, attitudes, and awareness of biological and chemical hazards in salons; demographics; hair/nail salon usage frequency. Respondent knowledge, attitudes, and awareness and disease prevalence were described. Dermal symptom prevalence and risk perception were evaluated using multivariate analysis. Results Among 90 respondents most were female (94.4%) and non-Hispanic white (67.8%). Fifty-two percent reported dermal or fungal symptoms. In both descriptive and multivariate analyses dermal/fungal symptoms were more prevalent among clients who visited three times within the past year compared with those with fewer reported visits (OR: 4.23, 95% CI: 1.42, 12.56). Respiratory symptom prevalence was higher among clients with fewer reported visits, indicating a “healthy client effect”; clients with these symptoms may be less likely to return. From the 12-question RPQ sub-set of the survey, scores were slightly higher among clients who visited salons ≥3 times within the past year, although not statistically significant (OR: 1.39, 95% CI: 0.49, 3.93). Conclusions Results establish an improved understanding of salon S&H client knowledge. The study suggested clients who utilized hair and nail salons more frequently had increased occurrence of dermal and fungal symptoms. More studies are needed to confirm and expand our findings, to inform trainings and interventions to improve client risk perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Health and Safety
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Health and Safety

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