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Occupational Exposures to Phthalates for Workers in the Cosmetic and Perfume Industry

The American Board of Industrial Hygiene® (ABIH®) reminds workers and industry of the need to address occupational exposures to respirable hazards.

Lansing, MI – WEBWIRE

In recent years, there has been growing concern over human exposures to these chemicals, many of which are suspected endocrine disruptors.

Last month, an article in Chemistry World discussed chemical exposure risks for workers involved with cosmetic and perfume sales. The article, “Cosmetic and perfume sales staff exposed to high phthalate levels” examined a study conducted in Taiwan of phthalate levels in several dozen cosmetic, perfume and clothing assistants. Urine and air tests conducted in the study found higher levels of a number of phthalates in the cosmetic and perfume sales clerks who participated in the study.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are used as solvents or to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl products. These chemicals are used in many cosmetic and personal care products, including perfumes, hair sprays, soaps, shampoos, nail polishes and skin moisturizers. They are also used in consumer products such as flexible plastic and vinyl toys, shower curtains, wallpaper, vinyl mini-blinds, food packaging and plastic wrap. Phthalates can even be found in some wood finishes, detergents, adhesives, plastic plumbing pipes, lubricants, medical tubing and fluid bags, solvents, insecticides, medical devices, building materials and vinyl flooring.
“In recent years, there has been growing concern over human exposures to these chemicals, many of which are suspected endocrine disruptors,” said Jeffrey Miller, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “The perfume and cosmetic workers from this study are believed to have been exposed to phthalates during their shift through inhalation and skin contact. While this was a small study of the impact on phthalates on retail workers, it raises concerns for workers across the globe who are employed in professions involved with producing phthalates, phthalate-containing materials or phthalate-containing products.”
Dedicated to identifying and protecting workers from exposures to all types of potentially hazardous substances are Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs). These devoted professionals are uniquely qualified to protect workers from a wide range of chemical compounds and biological materials through their training in risks assessments; air sampling and instrumentational analysis; engineering controls and ventilation; health risk analysis and hazard communication; and work environments and industrial processes. This knowledge, in addition to administrative controls and the proper use of personal protective equipment, can be instrumental in reducing exposure risks in countless work environments.
To learn more about the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®, Certified Industrial Hygienist® credential or to locate a CIH® to perform industrial hygiene services, please visit, email or call (517) 321-2638.
About the American Board of Industrial Hygiene ®
Since 1960, ABIH®, a not-for-profit corporation, has been the world’s largest organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH® is the premier credentialing body responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance and ethics enforcement.  Currently, more than 6900 people in 32 countries are certified to use the CIH® credential.

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 Industrial Hygiene
 Occupational Health
 Occupational Safety

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