Hair products contain chemicals that can evaporate and be inhaled, affecting health. Researchers studied emissions of these volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including siloxanes, found in hair care products. They found that using these products can quickly change indoor air composition, and heat styling techniques increase VOC levels even more.
Previous studies have focused on products that are washed off the body, not those left on the hair, and haven’t looked at real-time changes in indoor air composition during styling. The researchers set up a tiny house where participants used their usual hair products and heating tools, measuring real-time emissions of VOCs, including cyclic volatile methyl siloxanes (cVMS).
The findings showed rapid changes in the chemical composition of the air, with cVMS accounting for most of the detected VOCs. They also found that longer hair and higher styling tool temperatures released higher amounts of VOCs. The researchers estimated that a person could inhale as much as 20 mg per day of one cVMS.
Using an exhaust fan removed most of the air pollutants from the room, but could affect outdoor air quality in cities. Urgent studies on the long-term human health impacts of siloxane exposure are needed, as most findings are from animal studies.
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