The indoor environment in four beauty salons located in Athens (Greece) was examined in order to investigate the occupational health exposure of cosmetologists to various chemical products typically used in their work. Chemical substances chosen for investigation were volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, ozone and carbon dioxide. Total VOCs levels measured showed significant variation (100–1,450 μg m-3
) depending on the products used and the number of treatments carried out, as well as ventilation. The main VOCs found in the salons were aromatics (toluene, xylene), esters and ketones (ethyl acetate, acetone, etc.
) which are used as solvents in various beauty products; terpenes (pinene, limonene, camphor, menthenol) which have a particular odor and others like camphor which have specific properties. Ozone concentrations measured in all salons were quite low (0.1 and 13.3 μg m-3
) and formaldehyde concentrations detected were lower than the detection limit of the method in all salons (<0.05 ppm). Carbon dioxide levels ranged between 402 and 1,268 ppm, depending on the number of people present in the salons during measurements and ventilation. Cosmetologists may be exposed to high concentrations of a mixture of volatile organic compounds although these levels could be decreased significantly by following certain practices such as good ventilation of the areas, closing the packages of the beauty products when not in use and finally selecting safer beauty products without strong odor.