Nail salon workers may be exposed to dangerous chemicals and fumes.

The chemical smell wafting out of most nail salons may be familiar, but it’s a health threat to the workers that are exposed to these chemicals every day.

A growing concern over the “toxic trio” – the chemicals toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde that can be found in many nail polishes and treatments – have prompted some authorities to pass new regulations regarding the health and safety of nail salon workers, but most of them continue to work in poorly ventilated areas with little or no protection against the fumes.

Since many nail salon workers are newly arrived immigrants less likely to complain, and many health effects may only become apparent over the long-term, the issues has been flying under the radar for some time.

However, with a growing public awareness of the danger of chemical exposure, and after the toxic trio chemicals were listed as substances that can cause cancer and birth defects, action seems overdue.

In addition, studies have shown that nail salon workers have a greater prevalence of respiratory and skin conditions as well as headaches.

What is the toxic trio?

  • Toluene – a solvent found in nail glues, can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, linked to short-term memory loss and neurological problems
  • DBP – a chemical used to reduce polish brittleness and cracking, is hazardous for pregnant women and has been linked with reproductive problems
  • Formaldehyde – a hardener and preservative, is a known carcinogen and has been linked to asthma

Experts recommend using more natural, organic products and opting for nail treatments with the least amount of chemicals in them. Nail salon workers should have work stations that are well ventilated.

The Salon 5000 and 6000 are ideal for nail salons and spas.

Wearing a mask will only protect from dust and tiny particles, but not from chemical fumes.

A portable air filter with activated carbon and HEPA and a source capture attachment can reduce the amount of chemicals, fumes and particles right at the source. Electrocorp offers a variety of air cleaners for beauty salons and spas.

Contact us for more information.