Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Worker Health in the Nail Salon Industry

The popularity of manis and pedis are on the rise. But as the demand for salon services grows, little attention is being paid to the health of the salon workers. The chemicals the workers com in contact with on a daily basis have limited federal regulation little guidance is provided by the company on how to handle the products.

Three chemicals of concern that have been dubbed the “toxic trio” are toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). "Toluene creates a smooth finish across the nail and keeps the pigment from separating in the bottle, and is a common volatile solvent that can impact the central nervous system, cause irritation of the eyes, throat and lungs, and is also a possible reproductive toxin. Formaldehyde, a nail-hardening agent, is also a volatile chemical that evaporates into the air of salons and is known to cause cancer. Exposure to DBP, added to polishes to provide flexibility and a moisturizing sheen, can affect thyroid function has been linked to reproductive problems".

The good news is that nail salon workers and owners and scientists are coming together to reduce the occupational exposure of these chemicals. Even some large manufacturers have begun to reformulate their products without the use of the toxic trio.

For more information visit The National Healthy Nail Salon Alliance.

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