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Sugyeong Gwak 1 Article
Assessment of Occupational Symptoms and Chemical Exposures for Nail Salon Technicians in Daegu City, Korea
Sung-Ae Park, Sugyeong Gwak, Sangjun Choi
J Prev Med Public Health. 2014;47(3):169-176.   Published online May 30, 2014
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AbstractAbstract PDF

This study aimed to evaluate occupational symptoms and chemical exposures of nail salon technicians.


Work-related symptoms of nail salon technicians in Daegu City were surveyed using a researcher-administered questionnaire, and responses were compared to those of non-exposed office workers as controls. Personal exposure level of airborne volatile organic compounds was also monitored using passive samplers.


A total of 159 subjects in 120 salons were interviewed. Average work-shift concentrations of 13 chemicals were measured for 50 workers from 30 salons using personal passive samplers. The most frequently reported respiratory or neurologic symptoms by nail shop technicians compared to controls were nose irritation (odds ratio [OR], 54.0; confidence interval [CI], 21.6 to 134.8), followed by headache (OR, 9.3; CI, 4.7 to 18), and throat irritation (OR, 4.3; CI, 2.2 to 8.5). For eyes and skin, 92% of respondents complained eye irritation (OR, 13.1; CI, 5.7 to 30.1). In musculoskeletal symptoms, workers reported pain or discomfort in shoulders (OR, 20.3; CI, 7.7 to 54) and neck (OR, 19.7; CI, 8.9 to 43.6). From personal measurements, the proportion of exceeding the Korean Occupational Exposure Limit was the highest for acetone with 64%, followed by toluene (50%), butyl acetate (46%), and methyl methacrylate (12%). However, the service was being provided without a proper ventilation system in most surveyed shops.


Based on these findings, it is warranted to have appropriate local exhaust ventilation place to ensure adequate health protection of nail shop technicians as well as customers. At the same time, greater policy interests are warranted in nail care business to protect health of both workers and customers.



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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health