Variation in some haematological parameters and levels of selected toxic metals in cosmetologists and heavy cosmetic users in Benin City

  • E.L. Igharo
  • M.A. Okungbowa
  • E.A. Onuyoh-Adaitire
  • O.G. Igharo


Aim: This study investigatesthe haematotoxicity and pathobiology of inhaled/absorbed cosmetic-borne toxic metals in cosmetologists and heavy cosmetic users in Benin City, using haematological parameters and toxic metal levels as indices.

Methods: The cosmetologists (n=50; mean age, 25.4 yrs.) comprised of female nail and hair care workers who have had occupational exposure for a minimum of five years, and the heavy cosmetic users comprised of apparently healthy females (n=25; mean age, 23.7 yrs.) who had constantly used a variety of cosmetics for a minimum of five years, while apparently healthy, age-matched, and cosmetics naivefemale participants (n=25, mean age 20.0 yrs.) served as controls. From blood samples obtained, some haematological parameters[white blood cells (WBC), Lymphocytes ( LY); monocytes (MO), granulocytes(GR), red blood cells (RBC), haemoglobin (Hgb), haematocrit (HCT), mean cell volume (MCV), mean cell haemoglobin (MCH), mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) and platelets (PLT)] were determined using standard methods while toxic metals [Lead (Pb), Arsenic (As), Mercury (Hg), Chromium (Cr), and Cadmium (Cd)] where determined using the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

Results: Exposure frequency of ≥ 6 days per week and ≥6 hours per day among the cosmetologists was observed coupled with near zero use of personal protective equipment. Also, Exposure to cosmetics-borne chemicals through almost all body cavities (skin, nose, eyes and mouth) was observed in both cosmetologistsand heavy cosmetics users (HCU). Blood Pb levels in cosmetologists and HCU were similar and significantly higher compared with cosmetics naïve participants (CNP).Cd was significantly raised in cosmetologists compared with HCU and CNP. Blood levels of As, Hg and Cr were highest in cosmetologists when compared with CN and HCU; however, these metals were moderately significantly higher in CN than HCU.Total white blood cell count was significantly lower in cosmetologists compared with HCU and CNP while differential lymphocyte and monocyte counts were significantly higher in the cosmetologists than in the other groups. Granulocyte count was significantly lower in the cosmetologists compared to the other participant groups.The total red cell count was significantly lower in HCU compared to the other groups. The haemoglobin concentration and mean cell haemoglobin for the three groups were not significantly different (p>0.05), while haematocrit level in the CNP was significantly lower when compared with the other groups. The mean cell volume and mean cell haemoglobin concentration in HCU were significantly different from the other groups, while platelet count was lowest in cosmetologists compared with CNP and HCU.

Conclusion: This study concludes that chronic inhalation, ingestion and absorption of cosmetic-borne toxic metals by cosmetologists and heavy cosmetic users may increase the burden of toxic metals in the body and adversely alter some important haematological parameters.

Keywords: Cosmetics, cosmetics user, toxic metals, some haematological parameters


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-6569