For most people who only occasionally visit a nail salon, exposure to chemicals used at these establishments is likely brief. However, nail salon workers may be exposed to potentially hazardous chemicals all day long.
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), “More than 375,000 nail technicians working in salons across the United States face possible health hazards every day. Workers exposed to chemicals found in glues, polishes, removers, emollients and other salon products may experience negative health effects such as asthma and other respiratory illnesses, skin disorders (e.g. allergic contact dermatitis), liver disease, reproductive loss, and cancer.”
OSHA has developed a guide for nail salon workers that provides information about chemical hazards and other concerns. It provides information about how chemicals found at nail salons can get into a worker’s body by breathing vapors, dusts or mists and by getting products on their skin or in their eyes.
They list a number of potentially hazardous chemicals that may be present in nail salons, including:
• Butyl Acetate
• Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)
• Ethyl Acetate
• Ethyl Methacrylate (EMA)
• Isopropyl Acetate
• Methacrylic Acid
• Methyl Methacrylate (MMA)
• Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
OSHA also provides the following information about chemical exposure risks for nail saloon workers. “Chemicals affect different people in different ways. How a chemical affects you also depends on how much of it you are exposed to. You can get sick right away, or you can get sick over time. Exposures can “add up,” especially when many products are being used at the same time, when the products are used day after day, or when there is poor ventilation in the salon. If you use chemicals all day, every day, you are more likely to get sick than someone who uses the same chemicals once in a while.”
These are just a few things to know about chemical exposure risks and indoor environmental quality concerns at nail salons. To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, health and safety, occupational or environmental issues, please visit the websites shown on the screen.
Clark Seif Clark
EMSL Analytical, Inc.
Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc.
Healthy Indoors Magazine
Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters
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