Reports in a variety of scientific journals demonstrate that nail salon employees suffer from more frequent headaches, respiratory issues, and skin irritation than most Americans. Furthermore, those working in nail salons are frequently exposed to dangerous chemicals at higher levels than most.
With this in mind, it is disturbing that the Department of Toxic Substances Control is releasing a report, showing that toxic chemicals were found in a number of nail products, claiming to be toxic-free. ”Toxic-free” refers to products not using the “toxic trio:” formaldahyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate. Exposure to these three chemicals has been linked to both cancer and birth defects.
According to Thu Quach of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, nail products are not closely regulated, and the toxic effects of nail products can be compounded if a nail salon is not properly ventilated. Therefore, some cities have begun to pay attention and implement stricter regulations. While Boston has approached the issue by requiring salons to obtain health permits, the city of San Francisco has used an incentive approach by recognizing salons that use toxic-free products.
For more information on toxic nail products, please see the article appearing in today’s Los Angeles Times.