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

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.

The Nail Salon Industry is Booming

The nail salon industry is booming; the number of nail salon workers has tripled over the last ten years to more than 500,000 workers. Like drycleaners, nail salons are frequently located in store fronts or strip malls. Many times nail salons are built-out in previous occupied tenant space without adapting the HVAC system for the vast variety of chemicals used.

Headline: Nail Salon Chemicals Worry Health Officials!

Most nail salon workers are young females who work long days inhaling chemicals and also contact chemicals which are absorbed through the skin. In general, these chemicals are not regulated by the FDA and contain VOCs or solvents within the cosmetic products they apply or use to remove previously applied cosmetics. These vapors, as well as dusts, are generated close to the breathing zone of the workers and customers.

Inhalation exposure to these chemicals are proven to cause ocular and upper respiratory irritation and central nervous system effects such as headache, nausea, and dizziness. Source Capture Ventilation eliminates chemical vapor inhalation by exhausting the technicians breathing zone and prevents vapors and odors from escaping into the salon air or migrating into the air of adjacent tenants.

To avoid spreading chemical vapors to neighboring businesses, nail salons should not share the same ventilation system with another business and should be under negative air pressure in relation to adjacent spaces. To maintain negative pressure, the salon should exhaust slightly more air than is supplied so that any leakage of vapors will not enter adjacent businesses.

 

 

1. Right-to-know training for workers to communicate the risk of products used. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) must be reviewed by ownership with their employees and copies maintained on-site.

2. Substitution of less toxic, volatile products during purchasing. 30 states have restricted or banned the use of liquid methyl methacrylate monomer; an ingredient used in some artificial nail products.

3. Providing adequate general ventilation of at least 25 CFM outside air per person in the work space. The nail salon must not share a common HVAC system or duct work with another tenant space.

4. *Installation of source capture ventilation systems at the manicure and pedicure stations. Special attention must also be focused on where products are mixed. A whole room salon air purifier designed specifically to remove salon vapors/odors and nail dust should be used to cleanse the salon air.

5. Installation of filters designed specifically to remove formaldehyde and other salon vapors and dusts from the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system are strongly recommended. A building’s ventilation system, whether in a strip mall or a stand-alone structure, is called the HVAC system. This stands for Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning. This is your first line of attack. The HVAC system brings fresh air to the salon and pushes it from one room to another.

To avoid spreading chemical vapors to neighboring businesses, nail salons should not share the same ventilation system with another business and should be under negative air pressure in relation to adjacent spaces. To maintain negative pressure, the salon should exhaust slightly more air than is supplied so that any leakage of vapors will not enter adjacent businesses.

 

 

This system needs to be professionally maintained by a specialist. The specialist will change the filters, and properly balance and clean the system every year. An HVAC system removes mold, mildew, dust, etc., providing relatively fresh air to a building. Most salons are only using residential, standard HVAC fiberglass filters, which are inadequate for the removal of salon specific chemical vapors and dust. Special Salon HVAC filters are available which have an increased dust holding capacity and are composed of rinse-able layers of electrostatic polypropylene grids that collect and trap dust. Designed specifically for salons these filters are composed of an interchangeable activated carbon panels which captures and removes salon specific chemical vapors. Source capture ventilation, room air purifiers and HVAC filters designed specifically for removing salon vapors, mists and dusts have been developed and are highly effective for improving salon air quality.

6. Dispensing products in small containers with openings just large enough for the application brush. Keep lids on product containers sealed during non-use.
7. Discarding waste properly and promptly. Chemical-soaked gauze pads and cotton balls should be placed in a sealed bag before dispensing of them in a metal trash can. The lid should be self-closing and the trash can liner changed at least daily. Proper storage of chemicals.

8. Frequent washing of hands. Nitrile safety gloves should be worn that are resistant to solvents. Latex gloves do not protect against solvent exposure.

9. Good personal hygiene by workers including no eating, drinking or smoking at their work stations or near stored chemicals.

10. Checking the pressure differential between the nail salon and adjacent tenant space. The nail salon should be at negative pressure in relation to the adjacent space. Walls separating the salon from other business should have no holes, gaps and cracks (including above the drop ceiling).

11. Reviewing ventilation discharge points from the nail salon for potential re-circulation of solvent vapors in adjacent tenant HVAC systems or windows/doors.

12. Disposal of unwanted nail polish, waste acetone and other solvent/chemical waste products as hazardous waste. Acetone and other waste products must not be poured down the sink or toilet or put into general trash.

*According to internationally known salon industry scientist and chemist, Doug Schoon:
“If you are working with a source capture ventilation system (SCV); you don’t want or need to use a face mask. Even a high quality, properly fitting N-95 dust mask won’t work as well as a source capture ventilation system. Why? When properly fitted, an N-95 dust mask WILL protect against inhalation of tiny airborne dust particles, but NOT vapors. SCV systems prevent exposure by collecting both dusts and vapors- keeping both out of the nail technician’s breathing zone and salon air.

When properly maintained and the carbon filters are changed regularly, SCV systems are a great way to help ensure salon air quality remains safe and everyone is breathing comfortably during working hours. Several dust collecting systems are great too and in general, I do recommend their use in salons. Even so, dust collection systems should be used in conjunction with another ventilation system which lowers exposure to vapors. Both dusts and vapors must be properly controlled. SVC systems do both, which is why I fully support their use in salons.”
LANDLORDS….
Acetone, other nail polish removers and nail polishes are flammable. The aforementioned controls are also essential to minimize potential fire hazards. Fire department regulations vary from city to city including how much flammable liquid you are allowed to store at your business and if you are required to store flammables in a fireproof cabinet.

 

Healthy Air™ Source Capture Systems for Nail Salons Offer State of the Art Filtration

Aerovex Systems’ Nails Source Capture System with new Healthy Air ™ Technology is the next generation in nail salon ventilation technology. Our new portable air ventilation system is built to protect the breathing zones of nail technicians and prevent overexposure to monomer, acetone, and associated acrylic vapors and dusts.

Joining forces with Healthy Air™ technologies, we have created the most powerful and advanced Nails Source Capture System designed for salon chemical fume extraction.

The new Nails Source Capture System with Healthy Air™ technology is uniquely designed, combining eHEPA technology with advanced activated carbon filtration.

Recommended for removing all nails services chemical vapors, odors & dust: Including—but not limited to—ethyl methacrylate (EMA), titanium dioxide, benzoyl peroxide, methacrylic acid, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), acetone, gel & acrylic nail dust.

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

Healthy Air™ technology 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 odor.

Features Include:

  • Available with One or Two Exhaust arms for user with multiple tables
  • eHEPA Filter For Removing the Finest Nail Dust Particles – Advanced Chemical Adsorption & Catalytic Oxidation
  • 3 Speed High Flow Fan
  • Electronic Control Panel with Remote Wireless Controls
  • Easy & Convenient Filter Access
  • Pre-filter for Dust Particles
  • Activated Carbon Filter to aid hazardous chemical removal
  • Optional rectangle extraction hood to lay flat on table
  • Notification for filter change
  • Portable with wheels for easy relocation
  • Exceeds OSHA requirements
  • Available in Black or White
  • Quiet Operation Noise (dB) at 6 ft. (Setting: High/56 Medium/52 Low/51)

US Federal Law Requires Proper Nail Salon Ventilation

Scientist and salon industry expert Doug Schoon On Nail Salon Odors:

And, the fact many in the nail industry, think it’s inevitable that a nail salon will smell, well, like a stereotypical nail salon.

“In my opinion, it is inevitable that this incorrect attitude will change.  Salon and school owners will be eventually compelled to install appropriate ventilation in beauty schools and salons.   Unfortunately, that’s not the present case and OSHA is not enforcing the existing regulations.   Too many salon owners are ignoring their responsibility to provide proper safety training and appropriate ventilation- even though this is a decades old requirement under federal regulation.   Also unfortunately, it seems that either regulatory or legal action is the only thing that is going to change this, largely due to a poor attitude about odor and ventilation.   Sooner or later, a student or nail tech is going to realize that their school didn’t properly inform them about safety education, MSDS, etc. and/or their salon owner failed to follow the federal requirements under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard and they are going to bring legal action against their school and/or salon.   A few schools will likely need to be heavily fined, and then school owners will begin to take this responsibility more seriously than many do now.   Salons owners may take a bit longer for them to obey the federal regulations, but that will happen too.   If you’re a school or salon owner reading this and you’re not sure what I’m talking about let me tell you… you should be very concerned!   Check out my free webinar (below) that I did for the Professional Beauty Association on this very topic and take the appropriate action to ensure your school/salon is in compliance with these important safety regulations.” 

To hear Doug Schoon talk about proper nail salon ventilation,  please skip to the 27:00 minute mark in the video.

 

 

 LED Elite.Still006

Proper and appropriate ventilation is a requirement no matter which types of products you are using, including UV gels. Ventilation is NOT just to control odors, it is for control of even odorless vapors and dusts. Even pleasant smelling things can create inhalation risks, so don’t make the mistaking of thinking ventilation is only for odor control.”

“In the US, it is a legal requirement that salons must have proper ventilation because workers must be provided with a safe working environment. The necessary engineer controls to make this happen are required, of which utilizing ventilation is always a good choice.”

The 2012 International Mechanical Building Code (IMC), states: Nail stations in nail salons must be provided with a source capture system like the one pictured above capable of exhausting not less than 50 cubic-feet-per-minute.