Nail Tech Safety

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

More than 375,000 people work as nail technicians in salons across the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. When it comes to dangerous careers, nail tech might not register too high on your list, but that doesn’t mean the job is without its risks. Nail techs are regularly exposed to a variety of chemicals, which can result in a plethora of ailments.

Hazardous chemicals found in common nail salon products include acetone (found in many nail polish removers) which can cause headaches, dizziness, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and mouth; formaldehyde (found in nail polish and nail hardeners) which can not only difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, and other allergic reactions, but it can also cause cancer; toluene (an ingredient in nail polish and fingernail glue) can contribute to dry or cracked skin; headaches, dizziness, numbness; irritated eyes, damage to your liver and kidneys, and can even harm unborn children during pregnancy; and many others you might not even be aware of as being harmful.

Fore warned is fore armed, as the old saying goes. Start by reading the labels on the products you use in your salon. Whenever possible, choose products with the least hazardous chemicals. And protect yourself from unnecessary exposure by wearing appropriate protective clothing, gloves, eye protection, and if the level of chemical vapors is high you might even consider wearing an approved respirator.

When in doubt, discuss your safety and health concerns with the salon manager.