Other Zones of Contention

The recent Nails Magazine article, “Dust Up Over Nail Salon Air Quality”, mentions proposed bill, A.526 (see link below).

This bill does not include proper ventilation engineering controls to prevent inhalation exposure to nail product vapors, and also does not specifically address nail dust inhalation exposure, which may be cause for even greater concern. Use of safer products should be a component of a broader approach to preventing nail technician overexposure to nail products. Relying only on chemical product banning simply delays introducing proper breathing zone protection with highly effective source capture ventilation technology.

Making matters worse instead of better, chemical banning proposals are also a tool & smokescreen for fear based advocacy groups interested in raising money, but not in practical solutions such as proper employee training & proper ventilation.

Use of a nail professional source capture system, combined with proper use and maintenance, is the key component in protecting the nail tech and client’s breathing zone from inhalation exposure to both nail product vapors and dust.

Other Zones of Contention

 

…….Kim penned an editorial published Sept. 1, 2016 in the Queens Tribune that stated, “Being decisive and taking action is important, but we need an inclusive, collaborative approach to truly help these workers.” In the editorial, Kim’s proposed solution to salon air quality is A.526, which would ban the use of the “toxic trio” of chemicals (which the bill identifies as “toluene, dibutyl phthalates, and formaldehyde”) in nail polish and hardeners. He states this will “more equitably address the real root of the issue.” However, as addressed in other NAILS magazine articles, the notion of any nail product ingredients being “toxic” at the levels used is controversial in and of itself. The IMC does not provide any relief based on products or processes used, and Aerovex’s Cardarella notes, “It’s a misconception to tie odor level to the hazard level of the chemical. Odor is not an indicator of the hazard….[Banning specific chemicals in nail salons] is not an answer by itself. It’s a misconception to think this approach eliminates the need for proper and appropriate ventilation.”

To learn more about proposed NY State Assembly bill A.526 click here

Read Nails Magazine article “”Dust Up Over Nail Salon Air Quality

Healthy Air® Nail Salon Source Capture Systems meet 2009, 2012 and 2015 IMC Code For Nail Salons

Meet IMC Source Capture Ventilation Code for Your Nail Salon!

Need to meet ventilation code for your nail salon?  Healthy Air® Nail Salon Source Capture systems have you covered!

For new nail salons, IMC code requires a source capture system capable of exhausting a minimum of 50 CFM per station with exhaust inlets located not more than 12 inches from the point of chemical application.

By capturing contaminants at the source with an adjustable flexible air intake, the Healthy Air® Nail Salon Source Capture system meets or exceeds the IMC requirement for source capture ventilation in the nail salon.

Also, the Healthy Air nail salon source capture systems can be attached to duct transition, directing the treated air out of the salon. 

By treating this outgoing air, Healthy Air source capture systems prevent nail dust from accumulating in ductwork that could result in fire hazards and stop contaminated air from re-entering the salon and/or causing problems with neighboring businesses.

 

how ha meets imc

Yet another advantage of Healthy Air source capture systems for nail salons is the ability apply the clean air output for each system to the overall 0.6 CFM/ft2 that is required to exhaust from the overall salon air, saving energy and money (IMC 2015 Table 403.3.1.1 for Nail Salons b,h)

Attention Contractors!  Questions about nail salon ventilation codes?

View summary of IMC 2009, 2012 and 2015 ventilation codes for nail salons

View  IMC code adoption by state

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.

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.

 

 

Aerovex Systems Receives 1st Runner Up: Doug Schoon’s The Most Innovative Idea for 2014

naschoon award seal

We are grateful and honored to announce that Schoon Scientific has awarded Aerovex Systems it’s 1st Runner Up 2014 Innovation of the Year award. Since early 2008, Aerovex has relied on Doug Schoon’s professional consultation and scientific expertise. Doug is the salon professional’s greatest education resource and health advocate.

Protecting the respiratory health of salon professionals is Aerovex Systems mission. This award recognizes our efforts to provide breathing zone protection for nail technicians, estheticians and cosmetologists, and to prevent overexposure to salon vapors & dusts. And, also recognizes our efforts to help educate salon professionals to become more progressive about their respiratory health by taking a “Three Zone Protection” approach towards improving salon air quality. Thank you to our customers and the many salon industry experts, and educators who have helped us to best serve the industry! For more information visit our website: www.aerovexsystems.com

For more information on our award and Schoon Scientific:

https://www.schoonscientific.com/innovation-awards.html

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.