The world of cosmetology seems like it’s all about making you look beautiful from head to toe but it can have adverse, life changing effects on people working in the industry. Manicurists have been particularly affected. Many have reported to have serious medical problems after working in the nail and beauty industry for an extensive period of time. Although there isn’t substantial evidence to show what chemicals are causing the health problems; many studies have confirmed elevated levels of skin and respiratory issues in nail salon workers.
The Dangerous World of Nail Products: Exposure and contaminants
Formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate and toluene are the three most dangerous chemicals (for health) found in nail products that are widely used by nail salon workers in the US. They are used in nail products for a smoother, flexible application and also help the nail polish last longer. The National Toxicology Program has labeled formaldehyde as a human carcinogen and the other two are believed to affect one’s cognitive, kidney, musculoskeletal and uterine health. Moreover, nail polish remover, which is used in large volumes each day at an average salon, is also responsible for many health problems in workers. Many studies have found chemical exposure levels for manicurists in salons to be much higher than the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Unsafe Working Conditions in Nail Salons
As nail technicians usually work on a workstation with the client’s hand or feet directly under the breathing zone, it is highly likely that they breathe in the vapor from the products being used. A study revealed that asthma developed in cosmetologists (artificial nail technicians and hairstylists in particular) during employment was attributable to their exposure to chemicals in products used on the job. To minimize the risk of such health conditions, local exhaust ventilation and general ventilation system is necessary. Unfortunately, many nail salons have been found to have poor ventilation arrangements that can cause even more harm to workers and customers. According to the OSHA, an employer is required to maintain a workplace, which is free of hazardous health and safety conditions, therefore, maintaining proper ventilation is the salon owner’s duty towards whoever comes into their salon.
Lack of regulatory oversight of these harmful chemicals/substances in nail products has not helped the situation. There is a general ignorance about the occupational hazards involved in being a manicurist/nail technician. Employers are not fully aware of the hazards and even if they are they do not clearly warn their employees about it. In addition, as many workers do not have access to affordable health coverage, they have to continue to work under unsafe working conditions and bear the cost of medical problems by putting in even more work hours.
If you or a loved one work under unsafe working conditions at a nail salon and have experienced any kind of health problem you may have grounds to file a lawsuit. Statistics show that you are at a greater risk of developing respiratory, fertility and/or skin issues if you are exposed to harmful chemicals multiple times a day. It is your employer’s duty to provide you with sufficient ventilation in your work environment and warn you of the hazards involved in your job. If you think you have a negligent employer, you should contact an experienced, workplace accidents/ unsafe workplace attorney in Dallas who can help you find the right legal grounds to get the best compensation. With the assistance of an attorney from Rad Law Firm, you have a much better chance of receiving compensation for your medical bills and lost wages as well as any non-economic damages, such as suffering, emotional anguish, psychological disturbance, and disability. To learn more about our legal services and how we may be able to help you, please contact our law firm today for a free consultation.