Nail Salon Health Hazards
When you walk into a nail salon, you are probably already daydreaming about sleek nails and pretty polish colors. You probably aren’t thinking about infectious bacteria, unsanitary equipment, or dangerous fumes. At a nail salon, you expect a trained professional to take care of you. In most cases, a trip to the nail salon is relaxing and rewarding. However, as a bacterial infection outbreak in California showed us a few years ago, health hazards can lurk in nail salons.
Things to Consider:
• Does the salon or technician have their license posted?
– In Florida, cosmetologists are required to be licensed with the state. To do this, they must pass an examination before they can begin work in a salon. Each technician should have their license in a noticeable spot. This way, you can immediately see that they are trained and credible.
• How is nail equipment sanitized?
– Nail equipment included things like nail files, cuticle clippers, and other tools.
– All nail equipment should be sanitized in an Environmental Protecting Agency (EPA) approved disinfectant for 10-30 minutes. Then, it should be rinsed off with cool water and dried with a clean cloth. Foot basins and spas should also be disinfected at the end of each day to prevent a buildup of skin and dirt.
• Does the technician wash their hands before working on a client’s nails?
• Is each customer given a FRESH bowl of soapy water to soak their nails in?
• Is the salon neat and clean?
– Look for dirt on the floor or piles of old magazines. This is a sign that the facility is not well maintained, and therefore, probably not sanitary.
• Is there a strong smell of fumes?
– This is a sign that the salon is poorly ventilated. A salon should have an exhaust system, exhaust fans, and if possible, ventilated tables. Any ceiling vents should be turned on.
– Chemicals used in nail salons include Formaldehyde, Acetone, Toluene, Dibutly Phthalate, and Methacrylate compounds. If proper safety procedures aren’t followed, these chemicals can lead to eye irritation and dry and cracked skin. They can also create respiratory problems.
If you suspect that a nail salon is unsanitary, you should leave and find a cleaner salon. You can also report your concerns to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations.
As a client, there are also some precautions that you can take to keep the nail salon clean and healthy for the nail technicians and other clients. If you have any open wounds, sores, blisters, or skin infections, you should stay away from nail salons until you heal. If you are worried about the safety of the salon’s nail polish, you bring your own from home. Wash your hands before going to the salon. Even if the salon is well-maintained, you can still do your part!
Hopefully you favorite salon meets all the sanitation requirements!
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