Protecting the Health of Nail Salon Workers

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United States              Office of Pollution     EPA no. 744-F-07-001
     Environmental Protection   Prevention and Toxics   March 2007
     Agency




Protecting the Health 

of Nail Salon Workers 





                                           UPDATED MARCH 2007 

For more information, please visit:
www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/projects/salon/index.htm




Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics and
Office of Administration and Resource Management

EPA 744-F-07-001
May 2004, Revised March 2007
                  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This document could not have been developed without the vital partnerships we
established with our pilot nail salons and many individuals and organizations from the
Asian-American communities in Houston, Texas, as well as federal, state, and local
government agencies that lent their time and expertise. We are also grateful to our
peer reviewers, who provided valuable assistance. We sincerely thank all of these
individuals and organizations for the resources they provided and for continuing to
inspire our efforts and motivate our work. These partners include:

   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and
   Toxics, Design for the Environment Program
   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - White House Initiative on Asian 

   Americans and Pacific Islanders, Office of Administration and Resource     

   Management 

   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Office of Environmental Justice
   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Office of Air Quality Planning and 

   Standards 

   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Regional Offices
   U.S. Food and Drug Administration
   U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration
   Asian American Health Coalition
   California Healthy Nail Salons Collaborative
   Center for Research on Minority Health at the University of Texas M.D.
   Anderson Cancer Center
   City of Houston
   Nails for You Training Academy
   Nail Manufacturers Council
   Pioneer Valley Project
   Saigon Houston Radio
   Texas Cosmetology Commission
   Texas Department of Health
   Vietnamese American Community Health Network
   Vietnamese American Physicians Group in Arlington, Texas
   Vietnamese Hung Vuong Association
   Vietnamese Public Radio
   University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston - School of Public Health
                 TABLE OF CONTENTS


Introduction...................................................................Page 1 

Best Shop Practices
To Minimize Inhalation........................................................Page 2 

To Minimize Skin Exposure.................................................. Page 3 

To Prevent the Accidental Swallowing of Products........................ Page 3 

To Ensure Adequate Shop Cleanliness........................................ Page 3 

Other Best Shop Practices................................................... Page 4 

Gloves.......................................................................... Page 5 

Masks and Respirators...................................................... Page 6 

Best Shop Practices Checklist 

For Owners/Managers........................................................ Page 7 

For Workers.................................................................... Page 8 

Appendix
Introduction........................................................................... i 

Ingredients Table..................................................................... ii 

Liquid Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Monomer Factsheet....................... v 

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)............................................ vi 

References...........................................................................viii 

Additional Resources...............................................................ix 

                               INTRODUCTION

     A
              pproximately 155,000 people work in the United States as manicurists and
              pedicurists. These trained professionals provide nail treatments including
              filing, polishing, applying artificial nails, and giving manicures and pedicures.
     Products that nail salon workers use are critical to performing high-quality services, and
     indeed, without them, these services would not be possible. However, many of the
     products contain ingredients that should be used and handled properly to minimize
     potential for overexposure. Professional nail care products are typically formulated to
     minimize exposure and the potential for adverse health effects. Also, nail salon
     products are typically used in small amounts, which can further lower the risk of
     overexposure. Yet, if proper care is not taken, overexposure may occur and could result
     in adverse health effects, such as skin irritation, allergic reaction, or serious eye injury.
     This guide recommends shop practices that nail salon workers and owners can use to
     minimize exposures and prevent overexposure.

     In addition, this guide will help you understand how to use Material Safety Data Sheets
     (MSDSs). These documents contain information for people working in many
     occupations including factory workers, shippers, warehouse employees, emergency
     responders, and doctors, as well as nail professionals who use these products to perform
     salon services. Not all of the information found on an MSDS is useful to nail
     professionals, but the information in the Appendix will help you better understand how
     to use these important documents properly and make your workplace safer.

     The Appendix also contains information on ingredients in nail salon products and the
     potential health effects that could be associated with overexposure.

     This guide was originally produced in response to requests from the Asian-American
     nail salon worker community in Houston, Texas, and the surrounding area. EPA's
     Region 6, located in Dallas, Texas, in collaboration with the EPA's Design for the
     Environment Program, in EPA's Washington, D.C. headquarters, partnered with nail
     salons to document and encourage best practices to protect nail salon workers, owners,
     and customers.




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