Since 1958, when a possible relationship between lung disease and hair-spray inhalation was suggested,1 a large and controversial body of literature has been devoted to this subject.2-5 In a previous article in The Journal,6 considerable doubt was expressed as to the existence of hair-spray "thesaurosis" as a clinical entity. The authors were unable to experimentally reproduce characterizable thesaurosis lesions using stringent exposure conditions in animals. The periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining of tissue, purported to demonstrate hair-spray polymers specifically, was shown to be completely useless as a diagnostic tool. More important, a large number of well-established clinical conditions were shown to exhibit histological changes indistinguishable from those asserted to exist in thesaurosis; these included sarcoidosis, zirconium and beryllium toxicity, and infections with Histoplasma capsulatum, Treponema pallidum, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and M leprae. Schepers7 also has clearly demonstrated the presence of intracytoplasmic PAS-positive granules identical to those supposedly present
Giovacchini RP, Becker GH, Brunner MJ, Dunlap FE. Pulmonary Disease and Hair-Spray Polymers: Effects of Long-Term Exposure of Dogs. JAMA. 1965;193(4):298–299. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090040042011
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