In relation to procedures employed by these manicurists and/or pedicurists when in contact with blood from customers, 54% reported not taking any action, and the other 46% reported making several mistakes, even cleaning their hands with towels used during the clients' sessions.
In Figure 1, we verify the awareness of diseases that the manicurists and/or pedicurists say they can transmit or acquire during their professional activity.
In this study, 80% of the manicurists and/or pedicurists did not use surgical gloves during the procedures, despite the fact that the majority (84%) of these professionals said that the gloves were an instrument for their protection, and for the protection of their customers.
Ninety-three percent of the manicurists and/or pedicurists reused disposable materials (sandpapers, sticks and plastic bags used as protection for sinks and washbasins).
As to the degree of awareness of the manicurists and/ or pedicurists, related to the proper use, time and temperature, for sterilization, it was verified that only 7.
The acceptance level, from the professional manicurists and/or pedicurists, in this research was of 96% from the initial sample, greater than in a similar research conducted in North York, Canada, in 2001, when only 60% of the professionals agreed to participate.
All of this is in agreement with the Carlomagno study, (11) which concluded that the majority of pedicurists and/or manicurists did not know the biological, chemical and ergonomic risks present in their profession or the ways to prevent such risks.
The guide "Beleza com Seguranca" (Beaty with security), (10) provided by the government, recommends, for manicurists and pedicurists, the use of surgical gloves, hands washing, cleaning and sterilizing the instruments; however, the book does not explains in detail how to perform these procedures.
Among the manicurists and pedicurists procedures, there is not the habit of disinfecting the furniture.
It is beyond any doubt that there is a big flaw in the hepatitis control official programs when it relates to the prevention of this infection, putting at risk the health manicurists and pedicurists, their clients and the community.
The extent of the problem that viral hepatitis B and C represents for public health through manicurists and/ or pedicurists suggests the need of a specific program of great impact in the preventive area.