Objective: The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of respiratory and cutaneous symptoms among 18 years old and younger hairdressing apprentices in Aydin.
Materials and Methods: A total of 91 hairdressing apprentices were involved to the study. Pulmonary function tests [forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), peak expiratory flow (PEF)] were measured before and after the work time. A questionnaire was also administered to search the information about working conditions, respiratory and cutaneous symptoms such as rhinitis, wheezing, asthma and eczema after exposure to different types of pollutants and chemical irritants.
Results: Respiratory symptoms were detected in 73 (80.2%) hairdressing apprentices. Respiratory symptoms were sneezing in day/night in 39 (42.8%), morning cough 37 (40.7%), continue coughing in day/night in 32 (35.2%), morning sputum in 29 (31.9%), breathlessness in 27 (29.7%) and wheezing in 25 (27.5%) hairdressing apprentices. The prevalence of complaints such as breathlessness and wheezing was reported statistically higher in girls compared with the boys (p< 0.05). Cutaneous complaints were determined in 50 (54.9%) and the most common was contact dermatitis on hands in 44 (48.3%) hairdressing apprentices. PEF values and FEV1 values before work were less than 80% of predicted value in 15 (16.5%) and 11 (12.1%) hairdressing apprentices, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in PEF and FEV1 values measured before and after work.
Conclusion: 14-18 years old hairdresser workers called apprentices, have high frequency of work-related respiratory and cutaneous symptoms caused by exposure to chemical irritants every day. Therefore, occupational protective precautions must be determined and put in practice and younger people must be trained immediately.