Toxic exposure for salon workers leads to health concerns

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2017 | Toxic Exposure

The nail spa industry is accused of neglecting employee health and wage concerns. A recent news story looked at issues in California salons as a way to examine the industry. Toxic exposure from commonly used chemicals can affect workers, and advocates are looking for ways to reduce the harm to workers. 

Some spas are getting away from harsh chemicals. Programs like the California Healthy Nail Salon collaborative advocate for the use of better products for manicures and pedicures. They advise salons to stay away from what is known as the “toxic trio” – dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde. These chemicals are linked to several serious health concerns, including cancer and respiratory disorders. 

One woman, a veteran of the nail salon industry, said that she has been working around the chemicals for years. She has seen one co-worker die at the age of 35 from cancer, and has another salon worker friend who suffered a miscarriage. Chemical lobbyists actively worked to block legislation against the chemicals, but some salons are choosing to make the switch independently. 

Awareness of the harmful nature of the chemicals will hopefully drive salon owners away from using them. They can be toxic to both the worker and the consumer. The extended toxic exposure of the worker makes it a more serious health concern. A person in California who has become ill due to exposure to toxic chemicals on-the-job has the right to receive workers’ compensation for their injuries. An experienced lawyer can assist individuals with filing important insurance claims. 

Source:, “Hard As Nails: Battling Toxic Chemicals and Low Wages in California’s Salons“, Bobbi Murray, Aug. 29, 2017

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