Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care

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Respiratory status of hairdressers in Edo State, Nigeria

A.O. Onowhakpor, D.I. Aigbovorhiuwa, O.H. Okojie


Background: Hair salon workers form a part of the informal economy in which work exposure is unregulated and working conditions are below standard. They utilize a variety of hair products which contain chemicals that can predispose them to respiratory diseases. This study was done to determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function of hairdressers in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 350 hairdressers selected using cluster sampling technique. Data collection was done using pre-tested structured interviewer administered questionnaire. Pulmonary functions of participants were measured using a spirometer. Data analysis was done using the IBM SPSS version 21.0. Univariate and bivariate analysis were carried out. The level of statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

Results: The mean age (SD) of respondents was 24.27 (3.99) years. Concerning the prevalence of respiratory symptoms, 196 (56.0%) and 61 (17.4%) of the respondents reported nasal congestion and difficulty with breathing. Median FEV1 (IQR) and mean FVC (SD) were 2.34 (1.97 – 3.23) and 2.87 (0.732) respectively. The median FEV1/FVC (IQR) was 87.9 (83.0 – 96.0).

Conclusion: The predominant respiratory symptoms reported by respondents were nasal congestion and difficulty with breathing. Majority of the respondents had abnormal lung function results. Thus, the need for relevant government authorities to enact policies which ensure adherence to occupational health and safety standards in the informal sector especially in the areas of pre-employment and periodic lung function examinations.

Keywords: Respiratory status, Hairdressers, Spirometry

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