Walking into a nail salon you are immediately hit with the wafting odor of chemicals that enter into your nose from the moment you come into the nail salon to even long after you are finished in the salon. It is no secret that nail salons utilize a wide variety of chemicals that can be used to perform the different nail techniques including acrylic nails, gel nails, and even the vast array of nail polishes that are offered to their Customers each and every day. Many salon workers will frequently wear face masks to act as a protective shield from these higher levels of chemical concentrations that they are exposed to while working and performing nail services to their clients, however, what about the safety of these client’s health? More and more nail salons are integrating ventilation systems and air quality solutions within their commercial environments to help reduce chemical pollution levels in an effort to provide a clean indoor air environment for Customers and workers.
In this article we are going to learn more about the potential air quality risks in the nail salon industry and discuss the best options for nail salon ventilation systems to improve the overall indoor air quality.
Nail Salon Industry
The nail salon industry in the United States has expanded drastically over the last couple decades and leading it into a multi-billion-dollar business. This industry has developed from a high-end, luxury service into an affordable service that is available to most Customers which has led to the huge growth of nail salons throughout the United States. According to national data sources published by the UCLA Labor Center, they estimated there are between 126,300 and 212,519 nail salon workers, illustrating the magnitude of these businesses in the Country.
Nail hair salons are mostly small businesses that employ professionals to provide clients with nail servings including nail filing, polishing, artificial nail application, and other hand-and foot-care treatments. There are a variety of chemicals found in glues, polishes, removers, emollients and other salon products that may result in negative health effects such as asthma and other respiratory illnesses, skin disorders, liver disease, reproductive loss, and cancer, according to the United States Department of Labor.
Are Nail Salons Safe?
When it comes to nail salons there are many risks to public health that Customers and workers may become exposed to in the environment. The salon industry has been known to create skin issues due to the bacteria that can potentially accumulate on the re-used equipment that the technicians use on each and every client. This occurs when improper cleaning of the equipment takes place in the salon that will lead to the spreading of this bacteria on the skin. In addition, chemical exposures in a nail salon can also create a potentially unsafe environment, especially for workers who are in close proximity to these chemicals and usually in a poorly ventilated space.
According to the Scientific American, the dust shavings from filed nails in a nail salon can act like pollen and cause irritation to those who suffer from allergies or other environmental illnesses. Also, the chemicals that are used during a nail appointment can release potentially toxic vapors or mist in the salon’s air which could have an adverse impact on all occupants exposed to this environment. There are a variety of different chemicals that are used and depending on the specific chemicals that are utilized, and the array of mixtures created in the environment, it could lead to a volatile indoor commercial environment.
Nail Salon Chemicals & Fumes
The chemicals that are found in nail salon products will vary depending on the type of nail technique used and the specific form of polishes/polish remover that is utilized within the indoor space of the salon. When the array of different nail chemicals is used within a confined indoor environment, it can lead to potentially hazardous chemical mixtures in the airspace that will create fumes. The fumes produced into the air of a nail salon are one of the most common reasons that nail technicians wear face masks.
Below we are going to discuss the four most common nail salon chemicals found in the nail salon industry, and specifically the ones that are the most concerning to human health and indoor air quality.
- Toluene: A clear, colorless chemical is a common ingredient in nail polish and fingernail glue. Toluene can be a hazardous irritant that when exposed to in higher levels could cause dizziness or drowsiness – as well as nervous system damage with larger levels of exposure. The OSHA limit set in place in this nail salon industry is 200 parts toluene per million during an 8-hour work shift.
- Formaldehyde: Nail polish and nail hardener contains formaldehyde, a chemical that is known to be an irritant to the eyes, skin and throat. The formaldehyde will also contribute to coughing, allergic reactions, asthma-like attacks or difficulty breathing. For those nail technicians that are frequently exposed to this chemical in their work environment is recommended by OSHA that they wear half-mask respirators with chemical cartridges that can protect them from inhaling these vapors.
- Dibutyl Phthalate: A substance that is often used to make plastics, dibutyl phthalate is additionally used in nail polish and polish hardeners used in the nail salon industry. According to OSHA this chemical can lead to nausea and irritation to the respiratory tract and eyes on a human.
- Methacrylate Compounds: Ethyl methacrylate (EMA) is the main substance found in artificial fingernails. This substance can be an issue for both nail technicians and customers as it can cause allergies, asthma, and dermatitis. The best way to avoid these health risks from methacrylate compounds is to apply artificial fingernails in a well-ventilated environment.
Nail Salon Ventilation for Air Quality Control
The inside space of a nail salon can have many flaws, especially when it comes to the overall ventilation in the space of this environment which will ultimately lead to an array of air quality and health problems in this businesses’ environment. The nail salon chemicals and fumes produced in this industry has led to the overwhelming need of ventilation and air quality control solutions in the operations of the facility. Having in place the proper ventilation in this type of industry is important as it can help to remove any potential inhalation hazards that will help to ensure safe air quality in the indoor space.
Some states have even went as far as adopting and enforcing new regulations in regards to the proper ventilation needed in nail salons like New York, according to the New York State of Opportunity Division Of Licensing Services. These new nail salon ventilation requirements require all businesses offering nail services to provide ventilation to capture and exhaust harmful contaminates, fumes, and particles, away from clients and workers to ensure safety and ideal environmental conditions. However, in addition to staying in compliance with the necessary ventilation equipment needed for the nail salon space, many nail salon owners are also adding air purification devices into their businesses to help with the indoor air quality by removing odors, chemicals, and fine particulate matter than can taint the environment and the health of clients and workers.
EnviroKlenz Air Purifier for Salon Ventilation Systems
The EnviroKlenz Air Purifier and Air Quality product line is a revolutionary air quality solution for any personal or commercial indoor environment. The EnviroKlenz patented earth mineral technology works by capturing, containing, and neutralizing a broad spectrum of noxious and toxic chemicals and odors from the airspace, completely destroying them without a chance for re-releasing or re-emission in the environment. Unlike the other tradition air purification methods like carbon, ozone, or ionizers, EnviroKlenz is chemical-free, masking agent free, and will not create or release any by-products back into the air. The EnviroKlenz Air Quality products like the EnviroKlenz Air Purifier and EnviroKlenz HVAC Filter will leave your environment both clean and safe, which will ultimately aid in the maintaining of proper indoor air quality and reduction of health issues in the indoor space.