Infertility among cosmetologists

Jackye Peretz, Lisa Gallicchio, Susan Miller, Teresa Greene, Howard Zacur, Jodi A. Flaws

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although chemicals used in hair salons have been linked to infertility in animal models, little is known about whether exposures in hair salons are associated with infertility in women. Thus, a survey-based study was performed to investigate infertility in 448 cosmetologists and 508 non-cosmetologists working in Baltimore, Maryland and its surrounding counties. Infertility was assessed with questions addressing time-to-pregnancy (TTP) length (≥12 months), consulting a medical professional about fertility problems, and taking medication to become or maintain a pregnancy. Occupational exposure was assessed by job tasks and customers served per week. There were no statistically significant associations between working as a cosmetologist and the odds of TTP ≥ 12 months, consulting a medical professional about infertility, or taking medication to either become or maintain a pregnancy. The data suggest that cosmetologists are not at increased risk for infertility compared to women of the same age working in other occupations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-364
Number of pages6
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Chemical exposure
  • Cosmetologist
  • Environmental exposure
  • Hairdresser
  • Infertility
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive outcomes in salon employees
  • Time-to-pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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