1. Yang, Jun PhD, MS
  2. Hall, Keri MD, MS
  3. Nuriddin, Azizeh MPH
  4. Woolard, Diane PhD, MPH


Context: The potential for hepatitis B and C virus (HBV/HCV) transmission in nail salons and barbershops has been reported, but a systematic review has not been conducted. These businesses are regulated by state cosmetology or barbering boards, but adequacy of sanitary requirements has not been evaluated.


Objectives: To conduct literature review to assess risk for HBV/HCV transmission in nail salons and barbershops and to evaluate sanitary requirements in HBV/HCV prevention in these businesses in 50 states and District of Columbia.


Design: Several search engines were used for literature search. Studies that quantified risks associated with manicuring, pedicuring, or barbering were included. State requirements for disinfection and sterilization were reviewed and evaluated.


Main Outcome Measure: For literature review, odds ratios, 95% confidence intervals, and confounding adjustment were extracted and evaluated. For regulation review, requirements for disinfection or sterilization for multiuse items in nail salons and barbershops were assessed according to the US federal guidelines.


Results: Forty-six studies were identified and 36 were included in this study. Overall, the results were not consistent on risk for HBV/HCV transmission in nail salons and barbershops. For sanitary requirements, disinfection with an Environmental Protection Agency-registered disinfectant is required in 39 states for nail salons and in 26 states for barbershops. Sterilization was described in 15 states for nail salons and in 11 states for barbershops, but the majority of these states listed it as an optional approach. Sanitary requirements are consistent in states where 1 board regulates both businesses but are substantially discrepant in states with separate boards.


Conclusions: Current literature cannot confirm or exclude the risk for HBV/HCV transmission in nail salons and barbershops. Existing sanitary requirements are adequate in the majority of states, but compliance is needed to prevent HBV/HCV transmission in these businesses.