Workers who provide manicure and pedicure services in nail salon specifically those that have not undertaken formal training such as certificate II in Nail Technology. They have little understanding of hazardous chemicals in their workplace and are often young workers who would use social media in their spare time.
Do you work in a beauty or nail salon as a nail technician? Have you experienced any the short term effects from the table below while at work. If so, you are suffering the side effects of hazardous chemicals in your workplace.
Some hazardous chemicals found in nail salons are:
|Ingredient||Usage||Short term effect||Long term effect|
|Acetone||Nail polish removers||Headaches, dizziness, nausea, and irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, mouth and throat||Effects the kidneys, blood,
liver and nervous system
|Butyl acetate||Nail polishes||Eye irritation and redness and scaling of the skin|
|Ethyl acetate||Nail polishes||Irritation of the eyes, stomach, skin, nose, mouth and throat, confusion||Dermatitis
|Formaldehyde||Nail polishes||Difficulty breathing, allergic reactions, irritation of the eyes, skin and throat||Cancer, respiratory diseases, and dermatitis
|Tosylamide formaldehyde resin||Nail hardeners||Eye and skin irritation||Skin sensitization|
Table 1. a list of some of the hazardous chemicals found in nail salons. Adapted from New York State Department of health (2016). Review of chemicals used in nail salon, 15-17. Retrieved from http://www.health.ny.gov/press/reports/docs/nail_salon_chemical_report.pdf
The ways you can be exposed to these chemicals:
- Working with nail products that do not list their ingredients on the bottle as you will not know what you are being exposed to (United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2016).
- If your workstation does not have good air flow such as open doors and fans, the chemical fumes will build up and be breathed in (United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2016).
- Not disposing of chemically saturated waste into a lidded bin immediately after use will create more fumes into the air (United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2016).
- Not wearing gloves when providing services can allow these chemicals to be absorbed through the skin or open sores (Department of Women, 2000).
- Not washing hands before eating or drinking can contaminate your food and be digested (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2007).
- Not cleaning up spills immediately can increase the amount of fumes being generated (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2007).
- Using excessive amounts of product when performing services can increase the amount fumes generated (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2007).
If you have any of these symptoms or concerns please consult your doctor.
Department of Women. (2000). Nail Technician’s Tips for Health & Safet. Retrieved from http://www.holroyd.nsw.gov.au/PDFs/Info%20Hub/Business/Hair%20and%20Beauty%20Industry/Nail-Technicians-Tips-for-Health-and-Safety.pdf
United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (2016). Health Hazards in Nail Salons. Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/nailsalons/chemicalhazards.html
United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2007). Protecting the Health of Nail Salon Workers. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-05/documents/nailsalonguide.pdf
York State Department of health. (2016). Review of chemicals used in nail salon. Retrieved from http://www.health.ny.gov/press/reports/docs/nail_salon_chemical_report.pdf