Thinking of getting your nails done for those holiday parties? How about a new haircut? We hate to make you paranoid (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show), but doctors suspect there is a risk of hepatitis transmission through non-single use instruments--such as nail files, nail brushes, finger bowls, foot basins, buffers, razors, clippers, and scissors--during nail salon and barbershop visits.
Researcher David A. Johnson says, "The risk of transmission of infectious disease, particularly hepatitis B and C, in personal care settings is significantly understudied in the United States." In 9 studies, 5 evaluated HBV and/or HCV in nail salon settings and three of the five showed association with HBV and one of the five showed association with these diseases.
Johnson urges nail salon and barbershop customers to be aware of the potential risks for hepatitis transmission, and to take precautions including asking questions to determine whether or not the nail salon or barbershop is properly cleaning and disinfecting tools and equipment. He also suggests customers bring their own equipment like clippers, razors and nail files (both men and women).
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