Some California Nail Salon Workers Are Breathing Easier Due to Growing Collaborative Program
LA Testing provides analytical services and testing supplies to identify air contaminants in nail salons and other occupational environments.
Last month, National Public Radio (NPR) published an article about worker safety and health in California’s nail salon industry. The article discusses the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and their efforts to protect nail salon workers from exposure hazards to toxic chemicals and indoor air quality (IAQ) contaminants.
The group was founded in 2005 and has worked in partnership with cities and counties across California to establish the Healthy Nail Salon Program. Salons involved in the program utilize less toxic materials, require employees to wear masks and gloves, and are required to purchase a portable mechanical ventilation device. This is great news for some of the over 100,000 licensed nail technicians who work in countless nail salons across the state.
Exposure to toxic chemicals at salons is not just an issue in California. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), there are more than 375,000 nail technicians across the United States. OSHA reports, “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.”
The partial inventory of hazardous chemicals listed by OSHA that can be found in nail salon products and could cause exposure concerns include:
- Butyl acetate
- Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
- Ethyl acetate
- Ethyl methacrylate (EMA)
- Isopropyl acetate
- Methacrylic acid
- Methyl methacrylate (MMA)
- Quaternary ammonium compounds
“Workers in nail salons or any industry exposed to high concentrations of potentially hazardous chemicals in the air they breathe could be at risk of short-term and long-term health issues,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “At LA Testing, we offer comprehensive air testing services, sampling supplies and real-time air monitoring instruments to help identify occupational exposure risks.”
LA Testing has also sponsored an educational video about nail salons and chemical exposure concerns that can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqVxt0OVw9E.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, NVLAP, CDC ELITE, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including Huntington Beach, San Diego, San Leandro and South Pasadena.
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