1.1 Background of study

Cosmetology which include nail and hair care has become a lucrative profession. (Halliday-Bell et al.,2009).The use and application of cosmetics have been shown to have some effects on the human system. There are about 9000 chemicals ingredients found in cosmetic products (Kersemaekers and Roelveld, 1995).Nail and hair care users have daily contact with cosmetic products and are therefore routinely exposed to a wide range of chemicals by inhalation, skin contact and diffusion of fumes through the pores of the eyes (Halliday-Bell et al., 2009). Hairdressers use a wide range of products,including shampoos, hair dyes, hair sprays,straighteners, and bleaches. Hair dyes representthe largest segment of chemical products in thehair market today. As such, they are the mainsource of chemical exposure among hairdressers and heavy cosmetic users(Ronda et al., 2009).

Theseproducts may play a positive role in improvingquality of life, due to the human desire to improveappearance, however, individual’s frequent contact withthese products requires the ingredients be safe(Nohyneket al., 2004).

Nail polish is one of the productsmost often used by cosmetologist and the main potential source ofchemical exposure for heavy cosmetic users. Common nail polishingredients include toluene, plasticizers (dibutyl phthalate), and formaldehyde (U.S. Foodand Drug Administration, 2013). Toluene is awidely used industrial solvent. Toluene inhalationduringpregnancy has led to neonatal defects, includingintrauterine growth retardation, prematuredelivery, congenital malformations, and postnataldevelopmental retardation (Donald et al., 1991). Dibutyl phthalate, whichkeeps polish from becoming brittle and chipping,has been linked to reproductive issues in humansif the mother is exposed while pregnant and hasbeen banned for use by the European Union (Pak et al., 2011).

Most young femalestudentshandle nail polishesand shampoo, and theyfrequentlyassist each other in carrying out makeovers, this dual roles increaseexposuresto these products (Halliday-Bell et al., 2009).Hairdressing has been reported to be associatedwith a variety of health issues, includingdermatitis, cancer, and respiratory problems(Ronda et al., 2009). In ameta-analysis of 42 studies, a statisticallysignificant increased risk for bladder cancer wasfound among people who handles a wide varieties of hair care and facial care products with heavy cosmetic users, specifically those whohad been using the products for more than 10 years being affected (Harling et al., 2010).

Alternatively, a review conducted by Nohyneketal. (2004) concluded that evidence suggests thatexposure to hair dyes poses non-carcinogenic or other human health risk exposure to high doses of Diethanolamine (DEA) which is an ingredient found in soaps, cleansers and shampoos has been found associated with liver cancer, and precancerous changes in thyroid as well as mild and eye irritation (Turkoglu and Sakr, 1999).

Parabens which is used as a preservative in cosmetics has been found to interfere with hormonal function causing endocrine disruption (Darbre and Harvey, 2008).Long term exposure of high doses of BHT (Butylatedhydroxytoluene) used as preservative in moisturizers has been found toxic in mice and rat causing kidney, liver and thyroid problems (Bauretet al., 2001).

According to the US FDA, cosmetic products and their ingredients are not subject to regulation prior to their release on the market. Also in Nigeria, government policy regarding cosmetics ingredients is poorly regulated. 

Therefore, toxicological and biochemical studies of these exposed subjects is necessary for proper knowledge of the effects of constant exposure to nail and hair care products associated with the users and even those who may pick the act of cosmetology as a part time profession,hence ensuring adequate handling of these products and reducing hazards associated with these products..

1.2 Justification of Study

There is increasing repertoire of cosmetic products into the Nigeria market legally or illegally without ascertainment of the level of their toxicity. Also, there has been a paucity of information in our locality on the effect of cosmetics borne toxicant. This study therefore will provide clinical insight into the effect of heavy cosmetic usage on liver and renal function parameters of undergraduates in Kwara State University, Malete, Nigeria.

1.3 Aim of Study

This study aimed at evaluating the levels of some selected trace metals, renal function parameters and liver function parameters of heavy cosmetics users among female undergraduates and compare levels with non-cosmetic users.

1.4 Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of this study include:  

i. To determine levels of urea and creatinine, sodium (Na+) and potassium  (K+) of heavy cosmetics useramong female undergraduate and compare levels with non-cosmetic users.

ii. To determine levels of total protein, Albumin, Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP)of heavy cosmetics useramong female undergraduate and compare levels with non-cosmetic users.

iii. To determine levels of copper and zinc in heavy cosmetics useramong female undergraduate and compare levels with non-cosmetic users.

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Ho: Exposure to cosmetic borne toxicants has no significant effect on the renal function of cosmetologists.

H1: Exposure to cosmetic borne toxicants has significant effect on the renal function of cosmetologists.

1.6Scope of Study

The scope of this study will encompass the collection of blood samples from heavy cosmetic users, data collection using questionnaires, analysis of liver function parameters, renal function parameter in plasma of subjects and control and the analysis of trace metals from whole blood of subjects and control.

1.7    Research Design:

This is a Randomized cross sectional case-control study.



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