November 27, 2023

Study: Hair care product chemicals can linger in the air in surprising amounts

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The average morning routine for many Americans includes inhaling several milligrams of chemicals that may be harmful to their health, Purdue University researchers have found.

In a newly published paper in Environmental Science & Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society, Nusrat Jung, an assistant professor in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, discovered that several chemicals, particularly cyclic volatile methyl siloxanes — which are ubiquitous in hair care products — linger in the air after use. On average, Jung’s team reports, a person can inhale a cumulative mass of 1-17 milligrams of potentially harmful chemicals in a single hair care session in their home.

“We found the results to be extremely alarming,” Jung said. “We did not expect to see such significant emissions of volatile chemical mixtures from off-the-shelf hair care products during typical hair care routines that many people perform each and every day.

Read more on the Lyles School of Civil Engineering website.  

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