Objectives: The authors investigated the risks of negative reproductive outcome among female hairdressers.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 1997–1999, and 16,907 women in their forties were invited (response 71%). Information on infertility, delayed conception, spontaneous abortions, smoking, education, and occupation was collected.
Results: Infertility and spontaneous abortion were higher among female hairdressers than among women in other occupations (adjusted relative risks = 1.30; 95% confidence intervals = 1.08 to 1.55 and 1.31; 1.07 to 1.60, respectively). There was a significant interaction between work and smoking habits. Smoking increased the risk of infertility among women in other occupations, but this was not found among hairdressers.
Conclusions: Female hairdressers have an increased risk of infertility and spontaneous abortions that might be due to their occupational chemical exposure. The risk was primarily found among never smokers.