Research article

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

  • Dr Julia Mandeville orcid logo (George Mason university, Fairfax, VA)
  • Zeina Alkhalaf (George Mason university, Fairfax, VA)
  • Charlotte Joannidis (George Mason university, Fairfax, VA)
  • Michelle Ryan (George Mason university, Fairfax, VA)
  • Devon Nelson (George Mason university, Fairfax, VA)
  • Lesliam Quiros-Alcala (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD)
  • Matthew O'Gribble (University of California, San Francisco, CA)
  • Anna Z Pollack (George Mason university, Fairfax, VA)

This article is an accepted preprint. Production is underway.


Background: Personal care products (PCPs) can contain phthalates, parabens, and other endocrine-disruptingchemicals. However, information on perception of risks from PCP use and how use varies by race and ethnicityis limited.Objective: We evaluated differences in PCP use and risk perception in a diverse sample of participantsrecruited from a U.S. college campus and online.Methods: A self-administered questionnaire captured information on sociodemographic factors, PCP usetrends, and perception of risk associated with PCPs. Pearson's Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used todetermine differences in PCP use and risk perception by race and ethnicity. Ordered logistic regressions wereperformed 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 Easternand North African (MENA) participants. Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) participants reported the highest daily useof hairstyling products (52%) and lotion (78%). Daily make-up use was more frequently reported amongfemales (41%) than males (24.6%). Levels of agreement were similar across racial and ethnic groups, that PCPmanufacturers should be required to list all ingredients (≥87%). There were significant associations betweenthe 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.

Keywords: Personal Care Products, Diversity, Perception of Safety, Risk Perception, Use Frequency, Race and Ethnicity, People and their environment, Health

Accepted on
26 Mar 2024
Preprint Under Review

 Open peer review from Xingzuo Zhuo

Reviewer: Xingzuo Zhuo
DOI: None
Date Completed: 2024-01-16

The manuscript investigates the perception of risk and usage of personal care products (PCP) across diverse racial and ethnic populations. It applies a survey-based approach to gather data on individual perceptions and practices regarding PCP use, focusing on how these vary among different racial and ethnic groups. The study aims to uncover patterns and influences that drive PCP choices and risk awareness, providing insights into behavioural differences influenced by cultural and societal factors. This research contributes to a better understanding of consumer behaviour in the context of personal care and health risk awareness.

I recommend Accept with minor revision.

1. What is the sample size in adjusted regressions in Table 4? I believe missing data exists, according to Table 1. Please also further discuss missing data and the representativeness of your data.

2. Please mention potential confounding factors that you considered in the Method section, particularly for the regression models. e.g., are they not included due to further ethical approval required? It is not sufficient to state it with one sentence in discussion (Finally, in this study, we did not capture or measure the socioeconomic status of the respondents).

3. Please limit your conclusions to the "young adults" setting. e.g., There were significant differences in daily use frequency, levels of trust, perception of safety, and health risks associated with PCPs by race and ethnicity among young adults.

License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

This review refers to round 1 of peer review and may pertain to an earlier version of the document.