NYCOSH and Adhikaar are co-founders of the NY Healthy Nail Salons Coalition. We recently worked with our partners National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and the Environmental Justice Project of New York Lawyers for The Public Interest (NYLPI), to make recommendationson how to strengthen legislation proposed by Public Advocate Letitia James in May of 2015. Our principles are here.
At the state level, Governor Cuomo just announced an unprecedented package to protect nail salon workers. You can read our statement about it here.
Follow and reach us on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #NYHealthyNailSalons – for media inquiries contact Mónica Novoa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get training on the specific hazards beauty workers face, contact NYCOSH at (212) 227-6440 or email@example.com.
There are over 375,000 nail salon workers across the United States, who are exposed to dangerous health hazards like glues, polishes, removers, and other products; and also risk infections from contact with clients’ skin, nails, or blood.
Nail polishes and other nail products commonly contain what’s nicknamed the “toxic trio” of formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate and toluene, which can have serious health ramifications when inhaled regularly without proper ventilation. Formaldehyde has been labeled a carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, dibutyl phthalate has been linked to birth defects, and toluene has been shown to damage both the reproductive and nervous systems.
The “toxic trio” is just the tip of the iceberg; there are dozens of other toxins in nail salons that are dangerous to both workers and consumers alike and can cause headaches, asthma, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and more. Using less toxic chemicals, keeping the workplace well-ventilated, properly sterilizing tools, and wearing personal protective equipment, are just some of the ways workplaces can be made healthier.
If you feel like you are not well protected from the hazards at your beauty salon, you have a legal right to a safer workplace. You are entitled to training as well as the proper safety equipment for any dangerous tools being used on the job. If you’d like to get involved in fighting for your rights, join NYCOSH in advocating for heathy salons!
- To join NYCOSH’s campaign advocating for healthy salons, get in touch!
- If you’re a worker or represent workers looking for training on nail salon safety, contact NYCOSH at (212) 227-6440 or nycosh[at]nycosh.org
NYCOSH Fact Sheets