Nail salons may hold hepatitis risk

Oct. 31, 2011 at 8:09 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Nail salon or barbershop nail files, brushes, finger bowls, foot basins, buffers, razors, clippers and scissors may transmit hepatitis, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. David A. Johnson of Eastern Virginia Medical School analyzed a report developed by the Virginia Department of Health, "Assessment of the Risk of Bloodborne Pathogen Transmission in Nail Salons and Barber Shops and Regulatory Requirements in Virginia."

Johnson's assessment of the report indicated there might be potential transmission of bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B and C via non-single use instruments that are not fully cleaned and disinfected in compliance with state regulations.

Current Virginia regulations require intermediate-level disinfection for non-single use items in nail salons or barbershops to prevent bloodborne pathogens transmission, Johnson said.

"Whether there is sufficient compliance with disinfection requirements is an important variable in the safety of salon and barbershop services from a public health perspective," Johnson said in a statement. "The risk of transmission of infectious disease, particularly hepatitis B and C, in personal care settings is significantly understudied in the United States."

Johnson said reported case of acute hepatitis C that was "clearly related to a manicure/pedicure treatment" prompted the evaluation of the current patient risks associated with salon exposures.

The findings were presented at the American College of Gastroenterology's 76th annual scientific meeting in Washington.

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