Category Archives: Salon Air Safety Information

enter to win

Win a Free Healthy Air™ Nail Salon Source Capture System from Aerovex Systems, Healthy Air™, and Nail Talk Radio

WIN From Aerovex Systems & Healthy Air Inc.® – A Nail Salon Source Capture System with Healthy Air® Technology!

The Healthy Air® Nails Source Capture System with patented eHepa® technology is designed specifically to remove nail chemical vapors & dust at the source, protecting both the technician’s and client’s breathing zone.

Head over the contest page to sign up.  You can enter once a day until the contest is over!

But HURRY, the contest ends September 6th!  Good luck!

salon finder blog featured image

Introducing the Salon Finder from Aerovex Systems

Introducing the Salon Finder from Aerovex Systems!

This powerful tool showcases your hair and nail salons across the US.

Current clean air customers can login and add their profile to maximize your exposure, giving your company a brief overview of your salon information and air quality rating.

salon finder map photo
This is a great way to get the word out to prospective clients in your area showing them that you have taken the appropriate measures to keep your salon air safe from dusts and chemical fumes and vapors.

Check out the Salon Finder today and create your salon profile!

featured image ha lineup

Capture And Remove Airborne Microorganisms in Addition to Salon Vapors & Dust

While vapors & dust are the primary air pollutants nail salons are always most concerned with, airborne microorganism capture and removal should also be considered when implementing highly effective salon ventilation control measures.

The recently updated Nail Manufacturers Council on Safety’s updated “Guidelines For Controlling And Minimizing Inhalation Exposure To Nail Products” brochure refers to nail source capture systems with eHepa® technology as providing enhanced dust collection and vapor adsorption capability.

healthy air lineup

Aerovex Systems distributes both Healthy Air® salon air purification & source capture systems which couple advanced eHEPA® technology with proven Enhanced Carbon Catalytic Filtration to treat contaminated air in a multi-stage process that captures and removes harmful molecular air pollutants and microscopic airborne particles, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), other hazardous gases and particulate, bacteria, virus, mold, fungi and odors.

Integrating a high energy field with traditional HEPA filtration, eHEPA® technology successfully overcomes limitations and inefficiencies associated with standard filters. The result is a truly effective air purification process that collects particles of the smallest size, including microorganisms, with high efficiency and at low pressure drop.

Healthy Air Compact Chemical Source Capture System

Furthermore, by applying a high energy field that generates active species that permeate through the filter media, eHEPA® not only captures but also destroys microorganisms at extremely high kill rates, thereby preventing the reproduction of these unwanted microbes on the filter surface which leads to re-contamination of the airflow.

To learn more on how to protect your health in the nail salon environment visit NMC Guidelines to  Minimizing Inhalation Exposure to Nail Products 


ehepa vs hepa graphic

know the diff




san mateo blog pic

San Mateo County Healthy Nail Recognition Salon Program in The News

Recently there has been a flood of information in the news media about the health risks associated with working in nail salons.  Many salons simply don’t have the proper equipment in place to keep their workers safe from occupational hazards related to the inhalation of nail salon chemical fumes and dusts.   But there is light at the end of the tunnel…

Some local authorities have started programs that help educate and facilitate nail salons in their area to get the proper training and equipment to properly ventilate their salons, keeping their workers safe from over exposure of nail salon chemicals.

One such example in San Mateo County, California has implemented their Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program for salons in the San Francisco bay area to certify healthy nail salons and even offer rebates on source capture ventilation equipment for those who participate in the program.

blog post featured schoon response 2

Doug Schoon Responds to Times Exposé on Nail Salons

Doug Schoon Responds to New York Times Exposé on Nail Salons:

“Unfortunately, this reporter distorted some important facts and didn’t properly quote me. I’m one of the world’s leading scientific experts on nails, nail salon products and services and have been a very vocal nail salon safety advocate for more than 25 years. I’ve written several books, hundreds of articles and videos on this subject and have traveled the world for many of those years providing nail salon safety focused presentations to nail technicians. So why would this reporter disregard most of what I told her? In my opinion, she had preconceived notions that she wanted to prove and that’s not fair reporting.

I asked her to help the nail industry with some important issue that needed to be addressed and I listed them and even offered some solutions. I urged her to use her upcoming NY Times article to show how these problems could be easily solved by getting industry, activists and government working together on the same page, which is the root of the issue. I promised that the nail industry would come to the table and asked her to help urge the activists to join with us to improve education and provide more safety information and training to nail technicians. The Nail Manufacturers Council on Safety (NMC) has been doing this for almost 20 years and last year offered to work with OSHA and the activist groups. As crazy as this sound the activists groups have refused and they continue stand in the way of progress. Fear-based activist groups don’t like to discuss facts and solutions, that’s the last thing they want when they’re trying to frighten people with misinformation.

I very much appreciated the first part of this 2-part article and thought it was extremely well written, but I’m disappointed in the second article. It entirely misses the big issues, by a very wide margin. I’ve studied nail industry issues for two decades and in my expert opinion, the best way to improve safety in salons is to increase nail technician education, provided fact-based information and to enforce the existing OSHA regulations The NY Times article fails because it misses these important points.

The article focuses on problems that are largely caused by misuse of the products, e.g. not following directions, not taking steps to avoid skin contact and not working in a well-ventilated area. These are the fundamental, basic requirements for working safely in a nail salon. Those that ignore their responsibility and do not follow directions and/or work in a unsafely manner may develop skin and respiratory irritations, which are early warning signs that the products are not being used or handled in a responsible fashion. I’ve personally talked and written about this for decades and this is a big part of my bi-weekly Internet video series, which focuses almost entirely on safety information for nail technicians. Information on how to work safely is readily available to nail professionals. If salon owners are discouraging safe working habits and conditions as the article claims, that sounds like an OSHA issue that should be addressed and I’d be happy to help in that effort. In my opinion, collaboration between OSHA and the NMC would surely bring about needed understandings and likely positive change, so I continue to hope this will happen someday and it is my hope that OSHA will consider working with the NMC’s group of world-class experts.

There is some important misinformation I wanted to point out. This reporter ignored my warnings that she had been deceived by fear-based activists groups concerning the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) report t she is describing in her article. This wasn’t a safety issue at all! The chemicals she’s talking about were found in tiny trace amounts, hundreds or thousands of a percent. What did the DTSC say about these trace levels? They even said that the levels were “safe and this is not a safety issue”. The DTSC was ONLY concerned that the product labels said “xyz-free”, when they actually had a tiny trace, e.g. 0.0001%. The DTSC said that if you are going to say “free”, you should have be 0.0%, which I can understand their position. The reporter knew this was not a safety issue and that this issue occurred only with a few small brands of nail polish, but she still suggested that these manufacturers were producing unsafe products- which is clearly incorrect!

In addition, I’m pretty disappointed that she distorted my only quote. I didn’t say or suggest that no one is ever harmed by nail products. If you read what I said, you’ll see that’s not the case. Here’s what I actually said. The reporter claimed that nail polish was dangerous. I asked her how nail polish could be dangerous, if people aren’t being injured after more than 60 years of use. I told her that I personally didn’t know anyone who had been injured by nail polish and asked if any of her friends had been. I told her that I’ve not seen an epidemic of nail polish related injuries being admitted to hospitals or reported by doctors. All I have seen is deceptive claims and insinuations that claim nail polish is so-called “linked” to illnesses that have nothing to do with nail polish, e.g. lupus. I pointed out that since no one is being harmed and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that anyone is being harmed by “nail polish”; doesn’t this suggest there is no evidence of harm from nail polish? Of course, any reasonable person can see this is true. Where are all the injured, if nail polish is so harmful? It’s been used since the 30’s!
Notice the reporter only partially quotes me and then she swiftly changes the topic in the next sentence and introduces OSHA’s comments. OSHA is clearly talking about “artificial nail coating” type ingredients, not “nail polish”. Two completely different topics. This makes it appear like OSHA was disagreeing with me and they aren’t. Tricky, right! It is a bunch of baloney and not a fair representation of my opinions and the reporter knows this. So, I call foul! I suspect that if OSHA were asked if they were worried that people are being harmed by nail polish, they would agree with me that there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of harm from nail polish in the general public.

Here are the facts. The skin and inhalation-related problems would not occurred if, A). Skin contact was avoided, B). Hands were washed regularly, C). Proper and appropriate ventilation is used, D). Label instructions followed/warnings heeded. It’s not hard to work safely in a salon, if you choose to and you’re taught how. That’s the key. I’d like to work with anyone who is interested in teaching this information, but ultimately it’s up to nail technicians to care about safety. In my experience, too many don’t. I believe those who refuse to work safely or to use basic common sense, should not be performing these types of services. These are professional services that should be provided by trained professionals who work safely.

How can these salon issues be addressed unless everyone works together? I’ve asked the Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative (HNSC) many times over the years to work with the Nail Manufacturers Council on Safety, yet they refuse. Why? I’ve found that this group doesn’t want to address the real issues; instead they want to demonize the products.

The reason that I took the time to speak to this reporter is because I wanted her to truly understand the nail industry’s issues, hoping she could help. Instead, like many reporters before her, she’s been overly influenced by fear-based activists who use junk-science and misinformation to fool the scientifically naive reporters and well-meaning politicians. Of course, I do plan on speaking to her about my disappointment and explain how I believed she erred. I’m a patient optimist, so perhaps in the long run this article will eventually boomerang into something good for the industry and maybe this will convince more nail technicians of the importance of understanding the products and working safely.”

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality for Salons–oNVNk7BA

Guidelines For Controlling And Minimizing Inhalation Exposure To Nail Products / English





nail slaon worker blog featured

New York Times Article Brings to Light Health Issues for Nail Salon Workers

In a new article series titled “Unvarnished”, New York Times writer Sarah Maslin Nir examines the working conditions and potential health risks endured by nail salon workers.

In the her article “Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers” the author delves into the many health issues nail salon workers face on a day to day basis.

One big hurdle nail technicians face is overexposure to nail salon product vapors and nail dust.  These two factors are the biggest threats to a worker’s respiratory health.  These vapors and dust are part of every day life for nail techs.  Many people in the industry don dust face masks as some level of protection but the sad truth is, these masks do provide some protection against dust inhalation, they provide no protection for  the chemical vapors.   The chemical vapors simply pass through the mask and into the wearer’s lungs.

But there is a solution!  A certain type of salon ventilation called “source capture” ventilation (also sometimes called local ventilation) uses a capture hood and hose to draw the vapors and dust out of the breathing zone of the nail tech and into the system, where a 3 stage filter system traps dusts and adsorbs chemical vapor using advanced HEPA and activated carbon technology enhanced with an energy field.  This type of filtration, referred to as “eHEPA” filtration is more effective than standard systems in adsorbing and decomposing harmful chemical nail vapors found in nail salons.


To read the entire article, head on over to the New York Times webpage

nailpro featured blog image

Healthy Air™ Slim Nails Source Capture Systems Meet Code Requirements for Nail Salon

Aerovex Systems with Healthy Air™  Technology is the first in the industry to meet building standards that require exterior ventilation. Healthy Air™  Technology is one of the most powerful and effective advanced air purification systems in the world that is uniquely designed to combine eHEPA technology with advanced activated carbon filtration, now with optional outside ventilation.

The system utilizes advanced eHEPA technology to capture submicron particles as well as microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and fungi with efficiencies exceeding standard HEPA grade filters and kill these microorganisms at extremely high kill rates with the application of the energy field that permeates the filter. The system utilizes an advanced granular activated carbon filter in combination with the energy field to provide sufficient dwell tome to effectively adsorb and decompose VOC’s and odor.



The Nail Source Capture System is an highly effective nail dust, vapor/odor and airborne pathogen source capture system. With 200 cfm of suction at the capture hood, the Healthy Air™ Nails Source Capture System provides 4 times the required airflow to remove and capture airborne nail dust, vapors/odors, and pathogens. Clean air is exhausted towards the floor with a quiet but powerful centrifugal motor.

An adapter is available to allow venting the unit to the outside.

Salon Building Codes

Aerovex Systems Healthy Air™ Nails Source Capture System meets and exceeds the new “Breathing Zone” Protection Regulatory Requirements.

With 200 cfm of suction at the capture hood, Healthy Air™ technology provides 4 times the required airflow to remove and capture airborne nail dust, vapors/odors, and pathogens. Clean air is exhausted towards the floor with a quiet but powerful centrifugal motor. An adaptor is available to allow venting the unit to the outside.

Nail Salon Ventilation Regulation Changes:

2012 International Mechanical Building Code (IMC) Table 403.3 (h)

(h) For nail salons, each nail station shall be provided with a source capture system capable of exhausting not less than 50 cfm per station.

Source Capture Change Significance:

Footnote “h” to Table 403.3 has been modified to require nail salons to have a source capture system at each nail station. Based on the definition of “Source Capture System”, the exhaust from a station in a nail salon is required to capture the air contaminants at their source and terminate them to the outdoor air.

Aerovex Systems Introduces New Healthy Air™ “Slim” Nails Source Capture System

A newly designed Healthy Air™ nail source capture system has been introduced by Aerovex Systems, incorporating both a 25% reduction in size, and optional LED lighting now available in the capture hood. The new “Slim” model features whisper quiet operation combined with powerful suction. All, in a slimmed down 12″x14″x20″ size.

In addition, new features include state-of-the-art electronics and an enhanced electronic control panel. Optional venting to the outside is also available to meet the new International Mechanical Building Code, Dec.2012, requiring a source capture system at each nail station.

The new Healthy Air™ Slim unit can be seen here

new nail unit with led usable

OSHA and the Nail Manufacturer Council for Safety (NMC) Update Guidelines for Controlling and Minimizing Inhalation Exposure to Nail Products

Guidelines for Controlling and Minimizing Inhalation Exposure to Nail Products

These guidelines outline steps that nail professionals can take to improve workplace safety by minimizing inhalation exposure to potentially irritating or harmful substances. It is important for salon professionals to utilize techniques that ensure the nail services given are performed in the safest manner possible. Fortunately, when the proper steps are taken, it is easy to safely perform professional nail services and avoid excessive inhalation of dusts or vapors. Minimizing inhalation exposure is an important way to ensure that nail salon products are properly and safely handled.

What is Product Overexposure?

Nearly every substance on Earth has both a safe and potentially unsafe level of exposure. Injury may result if these safe levels are exceeded repeatedly or for prolonged periods. For example, inhaling excessive levels of certain vapors or dusts found in salons for prolonged periods may result in overexposure to these substances. In general, the vapors found in properly ventilated salon air have established OSHA safe limits and are well below these levels. However, not all salons have proper ventilation and those that don’t may not understand its importance.

Ventilation is an important way of improving the salon environment for customers and can also create a more pleasant workplace for salon professionals. Proper ventilation can help sensitive individuals avoid symptoms such as irritated eyes, nose or throat, headaches, difficulty breathing, nervousness or drowsiness. The best way to prevent inhalation overexposure is by controlling the amount of vapors and dust in salon air. One of the very best ways to ensure safe working conditions is to use these guidelines to improve salon air quality.

Improving Salon Air Quality

Some salon professionals mistakenly believe that ventilation systems are solely for controlling strong odors, when in fact, odors are not the reason for ventilating. Just because a substance smells strange or unpleasant does not mean it is risky to breathe. The odor of a substance does not indicate whether it is safe or harmful. Dirty socks provide a good example. They don’t smell good, but they aren’t harmful to breathe.

Don’t ventilate to control odors; ventilate to control vapors and dusts. It is especially important to control the air quality of your breathing zone. Think of your breathing zone as an invisible sphere that extends two feet from your mouth. Your breathing air comes from this zone and working safely and using proper ventilation helps ensure the breathing zone is a source of high-quality air.

A great way to ensure good salon air quality is to use a combination of: 1) a properly maintained HVAC system, 2) a professional HEPA room air cleaner, and 3) source capture system.

dp filters

HVAC system – The general room ventilation and air-conditioning systems in a salon are classified as “Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning” (HVAC) systems. HVAC systems are “built-in” to the salon and are designed to exchange air inside the salon with fresh air from the outside. Typical salon HVAC filters remove some dusts, pollens, etc., but cannot remove vapors or the smallest dust particles. Special HVAC filters designed with replaceable activated carbon panels and electrostatic dust filtering material are recommended which will remove residual salon vapor and dust not captured by a source capture system or by a room air purifier. The adsorbent panels eventually become saturated, making them ineffective, and, therefore, must be replaced on a regular basis, e.g. four times per year.

1)  Remember that to be effective, all ventilation systems must be properly maintained and cleaned on a regular basis. A local HVAC specialist that can advise salons on installing, repairing, cleaning and maintaining salon ventilation systems can be found on the Internet or in the phone directory under “Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning”. These skilled professionals can diagnose the salon’s air quality and ventilation systems and provide useful solutions and advice. They can ensure the system is adequate for the salon and keep it working at its peak capacity. Whether the salon is being heated, air conditioned or neither, the HVAC fan should be in the “On” position if the building is occupied.

totw good view

2)  Professional HEPA room air cleaner – use of a stand-alone salon HEPA room air cleaner designed specifically to remove salon vapors and dusts is also recommended to help further clean the salon’s air and to help keep it recirculating throughout the salon. It is best to use a professional quality air cleaner and avoid air cleaners designed for “home use”. Home air cleaners are designed to remove pollen, cigarette smoke, etc., which is not the primary concern in a salon (there should never be smoking in a salon!). Dusts and vapors are the primary concern. Air cleaning devices that utilize HEPA filters are designed to remove most dusts from the air in the immediate vicinity of the air cleaning device, but will have much less effect on the breathing zone of nail technicians. Even so, they can be effective for removing fine dusts from the salon air. Newer types of filters referred to as electrically enhanced filters or polarized filters can be considered electronic versions of HEPA filters and are commonly called eHEPA filters. These claim to have the effectiveness of HEPA type filters, but allow substantially more air flow to pass through the air cleaning device. Both HEPA and eHEPA filters are designed to remove particles as small as 100th the diameter of a human hair and when used properly and according to manufacturer’s directions can provide dust removal benefits to salons. Some activated charcoal air cleaner devices utilize a dust pre-filter that is machine washable or replaceable. These devices are also considered effective ways to lower airborne dust concentrations. Note: NEVER rely solely on stand-alone air filtration in the salon.

Air cleaners that produce tiny amounts of ozone (parts-per-billion) may neutralize some odors, but they do not remove vapors or dusts. Ozone is a hazardous air contaminant, even at very low concentrations. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned all consumers against using air cleaners that release ozone due to the health risks they create. These devices sometimes cause watery eyes, runny nose, coughing, chest tightness, metallic tastes in the mouth, shortness of breath, and blurred vision. These are not effective for controlling dusts or vapors in salons. Healthy people, as well as those with respiratory difficulty, can experience breathing problems when exposed to even relatively low levels of ozone, e.g. 40 parts-per-billion.

new nail unit with led usable

3)  Source Capture Systems – are designed to capture nail vapors and dust particles at their source of release and then extract them from the breathing zone, protecting the health of those working in the salon. At a minimum, these systems should draw 50 cfm of airflow when measured within 6″ of the area where the dusts and vapors are released. A three-stage filtration system is recommended and should include an activated carbon filter with a minimum of 2 lbs. of activated carbon. Avoid systems with little or no activated carbon. Additionally, some systems are equipped with eHEPA filters which have enhanced dust collecting and vapor adsorption capability. When properly designed and correctly used, Source Capture Systems protect the breathing zone of both the nail technician and client. These systems are the most effective way to control and prevent inhalation of salon dusts, vapors and other airborne contaminants.

Source capture systems that return filtered air into the salon are not as effective as those designed to vent to the outdoors and are more costly to maintain, so when possible, source capture systems should be ventilated to the outside. However, when this is impractical, systems that clean the air and return it to the salon can be very useful if properly maintained.

Selecting and Properly Using Dust Masks

Certain services, such as filing or shaping artificial nail enhancements, can generate large amounts of dusts in the breathing zone of the salon worker. While performing nail services, disposable dust masks can be used to control and minimize inhalation of dusts. Clients are not likely to be exposed to excessive amounts of dusts, so masks are not recommended for them. Dust masks prevent the breathing of dust particles, but cannot prevent the inhalation of vapors. Dust masks should never be used in place of proper three part ventilation as described in the previous section. Even so, when properly used, the correct mask can be an important way to prevent inhalation of excessive amounts of dust particles and is especially useful if you have pre-existing asthma, allergies, or other breathing related conditions.

The best disposable masks are those approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Masks with “N95” ratings are the most effective for salon workers. To be effective, dust masks must fit well, be used properly and also disposed of regularly. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions when using these important tools. Masks without this rating, such as surgical masks, will not provide enough protection and should not be used in the salon setting. Surgical masks may help prevent the spread of germs, but will not protect you from dusts.

Important Tips to Remember


  • Always read, understand and follow all manufacturers’ directions and heed all product warning labels.


  • An effective exhaust system provides individual ventilation to each separate work table or station.


  • Salons should have their own ventilation systems and avoid sharing with adjacent businesses.


  • The minimum recommended amount of fresh air per occupant for salons is 25 ft.³ per minute.


  • Source Capture system should be designed to withdraw at least 50 ft.³ per minute of air from the breathing zone at every station


  • Source Capture System filters should contain an activated carbon filter with a minimum of 2 lbs. of activated carbon.


  • Use professional HEPA room air cleaners; avoid devices designed for home use and only use air cleaners in conjunction with a source capture system.


  • Never use fans or open windows in place of proper three part ventilation.


  • Odor does not indicate whether a vapor is safe or potentially hazardous.


  • Don’t ventilate to control odors; ventilate to control vapors and dusts.


  • Turn on all general ventilation systems (HVAC) during work hours and use HEPA room air cleaners along with source capture systems while performing services.


  • Replace all filters regularly and according to the manufacturer’s directions.


  • Avoid using ozone generating air cleaning devices.


  • Dispose of all product-contaminated materials, e.g. paper towels, gauze, cotton, or other absorbent material, in a sealed container or bag.


  • Use trash cans with a self-closing lid and place one at every work table.


  • Empty trash cans several times per day and change liners daily.


  • Dispose of waste products according to manufacturer’s instructions or Safety Data Sheets, SDS (aka MSDS).


  • Properly ventilate storage area where professional products are kept.


  • Keep top exhaust vents on work tables clear of any obstruction, e.g., cloth towels.


  • Keep all product containers tightly closed when not in use.


  • Avoid working from bulk size containers of products when performing services. Instead, transfer products from large containers to smaller, properly labeled containers. Perform this task in a well-ventilated area.


  • Use dappen dish with small opening and cover it when not in use.


  • Wear properly fitted N95 rated dust mask to prevent inhaling dust particles.


  • Do not smoke in the salon and post “No Smoking” signs in the shop’s work area.


  • Read and understand the product’s Safety Data Sheets (SDS, aka MSDS) before use and know where the SDS can  be quickly located.


  • Maintain the latest copy of the state cosmetology board’s rules and regulations.


The 2014 Nails Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards Are Here

2014 raders choice

It’s that time of year again!  The 2014 Nails Magazine Readers’ Choice awards are here and Aerovex Systems is proud to say that we have two products nominated!

7 - Washable Dust Filter and Activated Carbon Take Dust and Odor out of Salon Air

The One That Works™ Salon Air Purifier, a leader in nail salon ventilation, has been nominated for “Favorite Nail Salon Ventilation System” and our Healthy Air™ Nails Source Capture System has been nominated for “Favorite New Product”.  Both systems offer the state of the art in effectively removing chemical vapor and dust in the nail salon environment.

Slim Black Dual Circle w LED w SEAL

Head on over to the Nails Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards page today and VOTE for your favorite nail salon products today!