11.20.2007

making nail salons safe

In Boston, the Public Health Comission is expanding its "Safe Shops" initiative to the hundreds of nail salons in the city. Originally conceived as a campaign to protect the health of workers in auto-repair garages—a field frequently occupied by immigrant men—against harmful toxins and working conditions, the intitiative will extend to nail salons, which are largely staffed by women from Southeast Asia breathing the chemical-laden fumes of nail polish and other beauty products: At city nail shops, guarding workers against a toxic mix. Starting in January, health agency representatives will venture into salons, stressing the importance of proper ventilation, demonstrating the correct use of gloves and masks, and urging owners to switch to safer products that have emerged in the past year.

UPDATE: For more information regarding proper ventilated work tables and other working conditions for your nail salon, you can refer to the following websites:

www.cdc.gov/Niosh/hc28.html
www.epa.gov/air/toxicair/community/guide/nail_salons_comm_info.pdf
www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/projects/salon/nailsalonguide.pdf
www.coshh-essentials.org.uk/assets/live/SR13.pdf
www.habia.org/uploads/Code_of_Practice_Nails_Services_On-line_Version_January_2007.pdf

Here's also a helpful article from the Seattle Post: Nail salons' workers, clients at risk from toxic chemicals. The same article in Vietnamese can be found here. Some other resources in Vietnamese have been posted here. (Thanks, Matt)