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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