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Cardno ChemRisk Earns Two Awards at AIHce

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (July 2, 2012) Several Cardno ChemRisk LLC scientists recently earned awards at the annual American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Expo(AIHce) in Indianapolis.

The Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Committee of the AIHA awarded Supervising Health Scientist Jennifer Pierce, Ph.D., and her colleagues “Best IEQ Paper Award” for their paper, Characterization of Formaldehyde Exposure Resulting from the Use of Four Professional Hair Straightening Products, which was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene in November 2011. In addition, Associate Health Scientist Lauren Spicer earned “Best of Session” for her poster on the same topic.

The IEQ Committee found the paper to be “important to the IEQ and industrial hygiene profession for its timeliness and applicability, adherence to the scientific method, originality and clarity.” Furthermore, it stated that the paper “furthers the science and practice of indoor environmental quality and exposes the EHS profession to significant and unexpected findings and novel pathways for indoor environmental contaminants.”

During their well-attended podium and poster presentations, Dr. Pierce and Spicer explained the study along with two key conclusions:

  • Regarding formaldehyde, the OSHA Action Level of 0.5 ppm and Permissible Exposure Limit of 0.75 can potentially be met or exceeded during professional hair smoothing treatments – even those labeled “formaldehyde-free,” and
  • Occupational exposures in the hair care industry are relatively uncharacterized, and research and resources should be dedicated toward efforts that enhance understanding and foster sound health and safety practices.

Since its publication, the paper has garnered a great deal of attention, especially among professionals engaged in the hair care and cosmetics industry, and it is currently the most read article at JOEH’s website. The study is also cited by the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) as a part of efforts to educate professionals in the hair salon industry

“Of those tested, only one mentioned the presence of formaldehyde on its label, but the amount on the label was far below what it actually contained,” Pierce said. “Given that there are literally hundreds of different keratin-based hair-smoothing products, the public would benefit from a broader survey measuring their formaldehyde contents and potential exposures in hair salons.

About Cardno ChemRisk

Cardno ChemRisk LLC is a scientific consulting firm committed to helping clients around the globe develop sustainable solutions to a growing number of health and safety concerns. Specifically, the company specializes in pioneering risk assessment methods to characterize and understand complex exposures involving chemicals, pharmaceuticals, or radionuclides in a variety of potentially contaminated media. It leads the way in working with the government, industry and academia to provide objective, science-based solutions to difficult challenges. Several Cardno ChemRisk Centers of Excellence, in fact, are designed to foster collaboration and accelerate innovation. Cardno ChemRisk has more than 70 scientists with backgrounds in toxicology, industrial hygiene, epidemiology, ecotoxicology, environmental sciences, medicine, statistical analysis, and risk assessment. It has six offices serving clients in multiple countries, across dozens of markets and industries.

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