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Disposable nitrile gloves protect hairdressers from systemic exposure to paratoluenediamine
  1. Claire L Higgins,
  2. Rosemary L Nixon
  1. Occupational Dermatology Research and Education Centre, Skin and Cancer Foundation Inc., Carlton, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Rosemary L Nixon, Occupational Dermatology Research and Education Centre, Skin and Cancer Foundation Inc., Level 1, 80 Drummond Street, Carlton 3053, Victoria, Australia; rnixon{at}

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The interventional workplace-based study of Geens et al1 showed that appropriate glove use by hairdressers significantly reduced systemic exposure to the permanent hair dye intermediate paratoluenediamine (toluene-2,5-diamine; PTD). These results are of interest because this is one of only three such real-work studies among hairdressers, and the first to demonstrate protection against systemic PTD exposure. Interestingly, adequate glove use did not protect against systemic exposure to paraphenylenediamine (PPD), raising the question of potential differences between PTD and PPD absorption and toxicokinetics.

The pivotal question of the study was whether appropriate glove use in 11 Belgian hairdressers would reduce systemic exposure to the aromatic diamines PTD and PPD in a real-work situation. PTD and PPD are widely used in permanent hair dyes and consistently rank in the leading occupational skin allergens in hairdressers.1 Sensitisation rates among hairdressers range from 8% to 25% for PTD and 14–45% for PPD.2 ,3 Both in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the efficacy of gloves in reducing both dermal and systemic exposure to hair dye compounds.4 ,5 Use of disposable nitrile gloves is recommended.6 However, the protective capacity of gloves has not previously been demonstrated in a real-work hairdressing setting. In a workplace study by Lind et al,7 glove use was insufficient to prevent dermal …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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