Nail salons and barbershop could up hepatitis transmission risk

According to a new report, the risk of contracting hepatitis from reusable instruments used in nail salons and barbershop visits cannot be excluded.

David A. Johnson, M.D., FACG of Eastern Virginia Medical School said that transmission of hepatitis from instruments like nail files, nail brushes, finger bowls, foot basins, buffers, razors, clippers, and scissors cannot be negated.

“Assessment of the Risk of Bloodborne Pathogen Transmission in Nail Salons and Barber Shops and Regulatory Requirements in Virginia.” Johnson said.

A group coordinated by the Office of Epidemiology at the Virginia Department of Health conducted the study, which included a comprehensive literature search on Pubmed and Google using relevant key words such as nail salon, manicure, pedicure, barber, razor and hepatitis.

Additionally, the group reviewed the safety regulations in Virginia and compared them with those in 13 other states and the District of Columbia.

His assessment of the Virginia report indicated that there might be potential transmission of bloodborne pathogens if non-single use instruments are not fully cleaned and disinfected according to the state regulations.

“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,” he said.

“The risk of transmission of infectious disease, particularly hepatitis B and C, in personal care settings is significantly understudied in the United States,” Johnson added.

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