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.

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.”

http://schoonscientific.com/resources-publications.html

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality for Salons

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S–oNVNk7BA

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

http://schoonscientific.com/downloads/nmc-pubs/Guidelines-on-Inhalation-Exposure_ENG.pdf

Vietnamese

http://schoonscientific.com/downloads/nmc-pubs/Guidelines-on-Inhalation-Exposure_VIET.pdf

Korean

http://schoonscientific.com/downloads/nmc-pubs/Guidelines-on-Inhalation-Exposure_KOR.pdf

Spanish

http://schoonscientific.com/downloads/nmc-pubs/Guidelines-on-Inhalation-Exposure_SPAN.pdf

Italian

http://schoonscientific.com/downloads/nmc-pubs/Guidelines-on-Inhalation-Exposure_ITALIAN.pdf

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.

YOUTUBE BANNER LED WITH DUST

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

3 Zones of Air Quality Protection For This Summer’s Keratin Treatment Season

As summer approaches, so does the demand of keratin smoothing services.  As many salon owners know, these services are highly effective at taming frizzy, unmanageable hair for extended periods of time for their clients.  One caveat, of course, is the sensory irritation that often comes with overexposure to formaldehyde vapors & fumes related to keratin hair smoothing services.

white hair package

When properly implemented, source capture ventilation is highly effective at removing these formaldehyde vapors & fumes from the stylist’s (and client’s) breathing zone.  This type of system uses a capture hood to draw vapors & fumes into the system locally and adsorb and decompose them via 3 stage filtration and high energy field (ionizer).  Although, a source capture system does not capture 100% of the formaldehyde vapors and fumes.  Any residual vapors that reside can be captured by supplemental air purification in the salon room in addition to an activated carbon impregnated filter for the building HVAC system.   Source capture ventilation in conjunction with these additional ventilation control measures is known as a “3 Zone Approach” to improving salon air quality.

Sound complicated?  It’s not.  Check out the video below to fully explain how 3 Zone Protection works and how to best implement it in your salon. With proper use and maintenance, the salon is not only protecting the respiratory health of their staff, but also has in place a powerful marketing tool they can use to assure current and future clients their keratin hair smoothing services are performed in a safe and effective manner.

 

 

Three Zone Protection Nail Salon Ventilation

Think of the air in the salon as being split up into three different “zones”.  The first zone, called your “breathing zone” is a beach ball sized sphere of air from which you take every breath.  The second “zone” can be called your “room zone”.  This zone contains you, your staff and your clients.  The third zone is called your “general building zone”.  This zone includes your building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, also known as your HVAC system.

Nail salon industry expert and scientist Doug Schoon lays out in simple terms the most effective way to protect these zones of air in your nail salon.   There are also new Nails Manufacturer Council on Safety (NMC) guidelines available to nail professionals on how to properly clean your salon air using control measures for all 3 zones of the salon.

For the NMC ventilation guidelines click here.

For advice from industry expert Doug Schoon check out the video below.

 

nmc

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.

nailpro

 

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.

Healthy Air™ Source Capture Systems for Keratin Smoothing and Nail Salons are Easy To Use!

All Healthy Air™ Source Capture systems are easy to assemble, use and maintain!  Below are videos for both our  Healthy Air™ Chemical Source Capture System for Brazilian blowouts and  Healthy Air™ Nails Source Capture System for removal of nail dust and chemical vapors.

Healthy Air™ source capture ventilation is the key to taking salon air pollution out of the breathing zone of your staff and removing it using patented eHEPA™  and advanced activated carbon technology.

See for yourself how  Healthy Air™ from Aerovex Systems  not only beats the competition when it comes to advanced features and performance, but ease of use and maintenance as well 🙂

 

 

 

 

Healthy Air Chemical Source Capture System – The Most Advanced System for Keratin Treatment Ventilation

Aerovex Systems Chemical Source Capture System with new Healthy Air™ technology is designed specifically to remove formaldehyde vapors from the breathing zone of hair stylist’s performing keratin hair smoothing services.

We have consulted with hundreds of professional cosmetologists and incorporated their input into our new Chemical Source Capture System.  Highly effective, affordable, extremely user friendly, and yes, quiet!  The next generation of salon ventilation has arrived!

Joining forces with Healthy Air™ technologies, we have created the most powerful and advanced Chemical Source Capture System designed for salon chemical fume extraction.  Healthy Air™ technology eliminates formaldehyde and chemical vapors in keratin hair smoothing treatments and other hair chemical services.                                            

The new Chemical Source Capture System with Healthy Air™ technology is uniquely designed to combine eHEPA technology with advanced activated carbon filtration.

Healthy Air™ utilizes an advanced eHEPA technology to capture submicron airborne particles as well as microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and fungi, with efficiencies exceeding standard HEPA grade filters.

Healthy Air™ also utilizes an advanced activated carbon filter in combination with an energy field to provide sufficient dwell time to effectively adsorb / decompose salon chemical vapors and odors.

Say goodbye to watery eyes, itchy throat and all the other sensory irritations that come with performing Brazilian keratin treatments!

For more information on this cutting edge salon technology go to  aerovexsystems.com or call 1-800-288-2023 today!

 

 

 

The Hair Smoothing Controversy

Internationally Known Scientist/Chemist, Doug Schoon, Speaks Out About:
The Hair Smoothing Controversy
Ask Doug Schoon what he thinks about the recent Hair Smoothing controversy and he’ll say
the following, which may be freely quoted, posted or distributed:

“I’m a scientist and chemist that has been researching and writing about salon product safety for over 20 years and have studied the use of Formalin in cosmetics and personal care products. I’ve been researching Formalin containing hair smoothing products for almost two years and am considered a leading expert on this subject. In light of all of the misinformation, worry and confusion, I believe it is important to provide information that might help to clarify the situation.

The 15 things I believe the public should know about this controversy:

1. In general, “hair/keratin smoothing products” use Formalin as the functional ingredient. Formalin treatments provide the superior results and provides services that last up to three to four months.

2. Formaldehyde is a GAS, not a Liquid. Formalin is a generic name for a substance that contains 59% Methylene Glycol and 0.0466% Formaldehyde, mixed in water with a small amount of Methanol to prevent the Methylene Glycol (which is a Liquid) from converting into a solid polymer.

3. A change accepted in late 2008 and published in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetics Dictionary (INCI), 2010 edition, corrects the error in previous editions and now recognizes Formalin by its correct name, Methylene Glycol, making this the name manufacturers will be using to label cosmetic products containing Formalin.

4. Products containing 5% Formalin (or less) contain less than 0.0025% Formaldehyde. The reason Oregon OSHA (and others) quote a much higher percentages is: The test methods they use actually measure both Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde together as though they were one chemical, and do not report them separately, or use their proper chemical names. A “10% Formaldehyde” report from Oregon OSHA would be scientifically correct if it reported 9.96% Methylene Glycol and 0.04% Formaldehyde instead.

5. Why is Oregon OSHA taking this stance? They cite regulations which repeat the 100+ year old misunderstanding that Formalin is nothing more than dissolved Formaldehyde, which is chemically and scientifically incorrect. Methylene Glycol is a unique and different chemical substance and Oregon OSHA knows this to be true, but is required by regulations to call Methylene Glycol by the incorrect chemical name, Formaldehyde.

6. Science has known about this chemical identity crisis for over 35 years. In 1972 the American Chemical Society gave Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde two separate and unique registry numbers (CAS#) to recognize them as two different chemicals. Federal OSHA should require Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde to be measured and reported separately, which would help avoid confusion and provide for a better understanding of these two separate and unique chemical substances.

7. Why do I believe this misunderstanding should be corrected? Confusion created by this long held misunderstanding is causing medical, environmental and other scientific researchers around the world to be misled. For example, researchers often perform scientific studies with 37% Formalin and are misled to believe it is 37% Formaldehyde, when in fact its 0.0466% Formaldehyde and mostly Methylene Glycol, Methanol and Water. This makes researchers more likely to report erroneous information and draw incorrect conclusions, which in turn, can prevent the proper study of Methylene Glycol.

8. When Formalin containing hair smoothing products are heated, they can release low levels of Formaldehyde gas. The limited salon studies I have performed over the last 18 months have indicated that inhalation exposure levels are within the Federal OSHA safe limits. Even so, sensitive individuals may experience acute (short term) symptoms such as irritated eyes or skin, headaches, difficulty breathing, sore throat and/or nausea, even at levels considered safe by Federal OSHA guidelines. Safe and proper use largely depend on the salon ventilation, as well as, cosmetologists’ product control and application procedures. Cosmetologists sometimes apply far too much product to the hair, which unnecessarily increases inhalation exposure, while wasting product and money.

9. The safety of these types of products and services is currently being examined by the FDA and OSHA. They will look at the results obtained by monitoring cosmetologists’ and clients’ exposure to Formaldehyde gas in salon air. This type of testing is proper and accurate and will address the real issue: What are the levels of exposure for clients, cosmetologists, and other salon workers? This information is needed before any final conclusions can be reached. I have great respect for OSHA, their mission and work. I am convinced that they will provide valuable information to help determine if levels of Formaldehyde in salon air are safe. I would expect this information to be released over the coming weeks.

10. Yes, there is a Safe Level for exposure to Formaldehyde and this substance is NOT automatically harmful at any concentration. Both Methylene Glycol and Formaldehyde is a natural, organic substance normally found in trace amounts in many foods, e.g. pears, apples, tomatoes, radishes, cabbage, carrots, green onions, meat, fish and shellfish. They are also naturally found in human blood and breath and both can be found naturally in organically grown foods and traces of Formaldehyde exists even in the purest mountain air.

11. In general, one or two, or even a million molecules aren’t likely to cause harm, since the potential for harm is caused by prolonged and/or repeated overexposure to unsafe levels; usually over an extended period of time. Less frequent exposures are less likely to result in harm or injury. Controlling the amount of exposure, e.g. proper ventilation, lowers exposure, lessens the risks and improves safety. Even so, persons with a previous history of allergic sensitivity to Formalin or Formaldehyde may adversely react with one exposure. Therefore, individuals who have or suspect allergic sensitivities should NOT receive or perform these services.

12. My (limited) experience with testing the air in salons over the last 18 months leads me to believe that a well-ventilated salon, performing two or three hair smoothing treatments per day will not exceed the Federal OSHA safe levels for Formaldehyde gas.

13. Cosmetologist and client safety can further be improved by using proper ventilation. The most useful type is called “chemical source capture” or “local” ventilation, meaning these devices pull much of the vapors into an overhanging hood, down a flexible tube, and through at least a 3 inch bed of activated charcoal to absorb a sizeable amount of Formaldehyde and lower exposure. Such systems can also be designed to safely ventilate to the outdoors.

14. Even salons that do not perform these types of hair smoothing treatments should still always use proper ventilation. Other services also create vapors, mists and dusts which must be controlled. I have evaluated and recommend the source capture system sold by Aerovex Systems, Inc. I suspect that similar systems on the market may also be effective, but I haven’t evaluated them.

15. Cosmetologists should always wear impervious gloves, e.g. nitrile gloves, to help avoid the potential for adverse skin reactions from accidental skin contact to Formalin containing products. Safety eye protection equipment should be worn to prevent accidental eye exposure. Read and understand ALL warnings provided by the manufacturer, including the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and call to ask the company questions.

Fair Disclosure: I do not have any commercial interest in selling products containing Formalin (Methylene Glycol), nor do I derive any profit from the sale of Formalin containing products. I provide scientific assistance to many cosmetic/personal care/beauty companies, some of whom sell Formalin containing products, as well as work with governments, associations and advocacy groups on cosmetic/personal care related matters.

This document is not intended to be a complete or comprehensive guide. If you experience significant problems which you believe may be related to these treatments, you should seek the advice of a qualified medical doctor. “