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Protecting Nail Salon Workers
Last week, the New York Times published a two-part series highlighting what it characterized as exploitative employment practices and unsafe working conditions for nail salon workers, including exposures to hazardous chemicals. On the heels of the reports, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on May 11 ordered emergency measures in the state “to prevent unlawful practices and unsafe working conditions in the nail salon industry.” Recognizing and controlling occupational hazards are important steps to protect this vulnerable working population. Census data show there are 17,000 nail salons...
Nail Salon Table Evaluation
Approximately 365,000 people are employed in nail salons and other personal care services in the United States. The workforce is largely female (75%) with the industry employing a large number of minority workers (46%) specifically Asian immigrants (38%). These workers generally perform manicures over a workstation—or "nail table"—with the client's hands resting on the table as they work. The nail table is, therefore, directly below the nail technicians' breathing zone. Downdraft vented nail tables (VNTs) are modified to vent potential dust or chemical exposures away...

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