May 22, 2024

The Nail Care Industry’s Battle for Clean Air

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The Nail Care Industry’s Battle for Clean Air

The Nail Care Industry

The US nail industry reaches from state to state and coast to coast. There are well over 50 thousand individual nail salons and close to 400,000 technicians employed therein. Add to this number the many other places that offer nail care, such as beauty parlors and hotels, and you’ll discover nearly half a million industry workers – workers who are exposed to products that contain chemicals that can potentially cause them harm.

Whether it be a manicure, pedicure, or the application or removal of acrylic nails, nail care workers are exposed to certain toxic elements. This occupational exposure can be in the form of inhalation or absorption and can make them sick (1).

Absorption can occur when solvents used to remove lacquer and glue get into the skin. Inhalation can occur when fumes from polishes and adhesives, plus dust from buffing and filing, enter a worker’s breathing space.

Chemicals & Health Risks in Nail Salons

According to OSHA (2), any given nail care product may contain dozens of chemicals. Here is a sample of known substances, where they can be found, and some of their negative health impacts.

Acetone (polish remover) – eye, skin, and throat irritation; headaches and dizziness

Butyl Acetate (polish/polish remover) – eye, skin, nose, throat & mouth irritation; headaches

Ethyl Acetate (polish/polish remover, nail glue) – eye, skin, and throat irritation, stomach problems, a high level of exposure can cause fainting

Ethyl Methacrylate, EMA (artificial nail primer) – difficulty concentrating, asthma, potential fetal complications

Sometimes referred to within the industry as “the toxic trio,” formaldehyde, DBP, and toluene are common:

Formaldehyde (polish & hardener) – upper respiratory distress like wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing; allergic reactions and skin irritation; found to cause cancer

Dibutyl Phthalate, DBP (nail polish) – skin, throat, eye irritation; can cause reproductive harm and birth defects

Toluene – (polish, nail glue) – headaches, dizziness, numbness; liver and kidney damage; fetal complications

How to Improve Air Quality

Government Intervention – At the federal level, OSHA looks out for workers by setting exposure limits on certain chemicals. In the majority of cases, these levels are not low enough to prevent illness. That is why some states and local municipalities are going beyond federal directives and are enacting laws that place greater restrictions on chemical emissions and/or set minimum indoor air quality regulations to protect workers.

New York, for example, has enacted a new regulation (3) that requires all businesses offering nail services to install ventilation systems to capture then exhaust harmful fumes, dusts, and contaminants at every workstation.

Nail Salon Solutions – For nail care businesses that need to follow strict government guidelines or – who voluntarily wish to protect their workers and customers from potentially harmful emissions – there are easy air-cleaning remedies.

Our Salon Pure Air Products Are the Answer

Tested by NIOSH in a national study (4), our Salon Pure Air line of fume extraction products, such as the Salon Pure Air 1, have been found to effectively remove unhealthy fumes and dusts before they can enter a person’s breathing space – keeping nail care workers and their customers safe and free from harm. Contact Air Impurities Removal Systems Inc. to speak to one of our clean air specialists.

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