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RR722 - Identification of microbial contamination in body wax samples

Currently, apart from non-UK case studies and anecdotal evidence, there are few published data available regarding infection prevention and control during the process of body waxing. The techniques available for waxing different parts of the body do vary, and have received some attention from the healthcare and enforcement community. However, the specific infection risks posed by used or unused waxes have not, as yet, been fully or scientifically characterised, with most publications taking the form of case studies of patient aftercare.

A focussed, but representative microbiological sampling study of wax pot residues in salons was therefore undertaken to inform HSE on this area of treatment. In particular, the study was required to provide accurate advice that could be offered by HSE in the area of body waxing, and to inform existing guidance provided by the standard setting body for the hair, beauty, nail and spa industries.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-01-27