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      Risk Perception and Use of Personal Care Products by Race and Ethnicity among A Diverse Population

      Under revision


            Background: Personal care products (PCPs) can contain phthalates, parabens, and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals. However, information on perception of risks from PCP use and how use varies by race and ethnicity is limited.

            Objective: We evaluated differences in PCP use and risk perception in a diverse sample of participants recruited from a U.S. college campus and online.

            Methods: A self-administered questionnaire captured information on sociodemographic factors, PCP use trends, and perception of risk associated with PCPs. Pearson's Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used to determine differences in PCP use and risk perception by race and ethnicity. Ordered logistic regressions were performed to measure associations between PCP use frequency across racial/ethnic categories.

            Results: Participant (n=770) mean age was 22.8 years (SD ± 6.0). Daily use of make-up (eye = 29.3%; other=38.0%; all=33.7%) and skincare products (55%) was most frequently reported among Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) participants. Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) participants reported the highest daily use of hairstyling products (52%) and lotion (78%). Daily make-up use was more frequently reported among females (41%) than males (24.6%). Levels of agreement were similar across racial and ethnic groups, that PCP manufacturers should be required to list all ingredients (≥87%). There were significant associations between the frequency of use of some personal care products and racial/ethnic categories when the use frequencies of participants from other racial/ethnic categories were compared to the use frequency of NHW participants.

            Conclusion: There were significant differences in daily use frequency, levels of trust, perception of safety, and health risks associated with PCPs by race and ethnicity, underscoring that there may be different sources of exposure to chemicals in PCPs by race and ethnicity.


            Author and article information

            UCL Open: Environment Preprint
            UCL Press
            14 December 2023
            [1 ] Department of Global and Community Health, College of Public Health, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA ( https://ror.org/02jqj7156)
            [2 ] Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD ( https://ror.org/00za53h95)
            [3 ] Division of Occupational, Environmental & Climate Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA ( https://ror.org/043mz5j54)
            Author notes
            Author information

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            : 14 December 2023

            The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
            Earth & Environmental sciences,Social & Behavioral Sciences
            Personal Care Products,Diversity,Perception of Safety,Risk Perception,Use Frequency,Race and Ethnicity,People and their environment,Health


            Date: 15 December 2023

            Handling Editor: Dr Francesco Salustri 

            This article is a preprint article and has not been peer-reviewed. It is under consideration following submission to UCL Open: Environment for open peer review.

            2023-12-15 11:26 UTC
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