IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Social Inequalities in Personal Care Workers’ Exposure to Endocrine Disruptors


Endocrine disruptors are exogenous substances or mixtures that alter the hormonal system’s functions. They can provoke harmful health effects, including reproductive disorders, cancer and congenital anomalies in offspring.
Many synthetic molecules used in cosmetics are endocrine disruptors. Daily use of these products in a professional context is likely to lead to repeated high exposure for workers who provide personal care.

Very few data are available on the nature and overall levels of exposure or on the effects of repeated exposure to such products (the exposome). These professions are frequently occupied by women and members of minority groups. Such jobs are characterized by substantial job insecurity, a lack of access to preventive maternity leave, and low income, all of which are factors increasing the risk of exposure to endocrine disruptors.

This research project seeks to characterize the professional exposome of workers who provide personal care services in hairdressing, esthetic and manicure salons and to determine the effects of these mixtures on their cancer risk, reproductive functions and children’s health.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2022-0006
Status: Ongoing
  • Isabelle Plante (Institut national de recherche scientifique)
  • Cathy Vaillancourt (INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier)
  • Géraldine Delbès (INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier)
  • Kessen Patten (INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier)
  • Johanne Saint-Charles (Université du Québec à Montréal )
  • Mathieu Philibert (Université du Québec à Montréal )
  • Yong-Lai Feng (Santé Canada)