Health Risk Behaviors of Formaldehyde Exposure among Salon Workers in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand


  • Phiman Thiraratanasunthon Walailak University, School of Allied Health Sciences and Public Health, Thasala district, Nakhonsithammarat 80161,
  • Boonruan Hunghoan
  • Mookdawan Yuangdetkla


Health Risk, Formaldehyde, Exposure


An exposure study was conducted to characterize potential formaldehyde exposure of salon workers and clients during hair treatments. We also studied knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors on chemical usage of the formaldehyde among salon workers and assessed their health risk protection behaviors. Data from a total of 55 salon workers who worked at 39 different salon beauty shops were collected. Results were analyzed based on tasked sampling and treatment sampling. Most workers were female (96.4%) with an average age of 37 years old. A majority of workers graduated from lower or upper secondary schools (56.4%), are married (52%), and earn an average income of 15,372.7 Baht per month. Most salon workers had moderate or high knowledge of formaldehyde (80%), and had high attitude towards chemical management (56.4%), and had low level of formaldehyde risk of practice (70.9%). A health risk assessment based on the average concentration of formaldehyde revealed that the risk probability of cancer ranged from 8.34 in 109 to 1.00 in 103, with 30 beauticians exceeding the acceptable risk level. Cancer risk probability ranged from 1.97 in 108 to 1.40 in 103 based on the maximum concentration, with 31 beauticians exceeding acceptable risk level. Result of non-cancer risk assessment revealed that the risk ranged from 0.018-13.216 based on the average concentration, with 12 beauticians were exceeding the acceptable level.  The results of this study show that at maximum concentration, the non-cancer risk were ranged from 0.024-18.488 and 13 salon workers professional hair treatments have the potential to produce formaldehyde concentrations that meet or exceed current occupational exposure limits according to US EPA.


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