Skin sensitization quantitative risk assessment for occupational exposure of hairdressers to hair dye ingredients

Carsten Goebel, Thomas L. Diepgen, Brunhilde Blömeke, Anthony A. Gaspari, Axel Schnuch, Anne Fuchs, Kordula Schlotmann, Maya Krasteva, Ian Kimber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Occupational exposure of hairdressers to hair dyes has been associated with the development of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) involving the hands. p-Phenylenediamine (PPD) and toluene-2,5-diamine (PTD) have been implicated as important occupational contact allergens. To conduct a quantitative risk assessment for the induction of contact sensitization to hair dyes in hairdressers, available data from hand rinsing studies following typical occupational exposure conditions to PPD, PTD and resorcinol were assessed. By accounting for wet work, uneven exposure and inter-individual variability for professionals, daily hand exposure concentrations were derived. Secondly, daily hand exposure was compared with the sensitization induction potency of the individual hair dye defined as the No Expected Sensitization Induction Levels (NESIL). For PPD and PTD hairdresser hand exposure levels were 2.7 and 5.9 fold below the individual NESIL. In contrast, hand exposure to resorcinol was 50 fold below the NESIL. Correspondingly, the risk assessment for PPD and PTD indicates that contact sensitization may occur, when skin protection and skin care are not rigorously applied. We conclude that awareness of health risks associated with occupational exposure to hair dyes, and of the importance of adequate protective measures, should be emphasized more fully during hairdresser education and training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalRegulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology
Early online date9 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Hair dye allergy
  • Hairdresser
  • Occupational exposure
  • p-Phenylenediamine
  • Quantitative risk assessment
  • Resorcinol
  • Skin sensitization
  • Toluene-2,5-diamine

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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