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Hazardous Chemicals Found in Nail Salon Products (OSHA 3542-2012)

May 8, 2019

We previously posted the trending article 'Exposure to BTEX (benzene, toluene, xylene, and ethylbenzene) in beauty salons', and we decided to add more information regarding health hazard of beauty salon. The below is a part and a short summary of OSHA publication 3542-2012; Nail Salon Workers: Stay Healthy and Safe While Giving Manicures and Pedicures.

 

 

 

Nail products, such as polishes, strengtheners, removers, and artificial nail liquids, can contain many chemicals. Some of these chemicals are more harmful than others. Over time with repeated use or exposure to high concentrations, these chemicals could damage your body or cause an allergic reaction. Every person is different and not everyone who breathes in these chemicals or gets them on their skin will experience these effects now or in the future.
Some potentially hazardous chemicals, the types of products they can be found in, and how they can affect your body include:


• Acetone (nail polish remover): headaches; dizziness; and irritated eyes, skin, and throat.
• Acetonitrile (fingernail glue remover): irritated nose and throat; breathing problems; nausea; vomiting; weakness; and exhaustion.
• Butyl acetate (nail polish, nail polish remover): headaches and irritated eyes, skin, nose, mouth, and throat.
• Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) (nail polish): nausea and irritated eyes, skin, nose, mouth, and throat. Long-term exposures to high concentrations may cause other serious effects.
• Ethyl acetate (nail polish, nail polish remover, fingernail glue): irritated eyes, stomach, skin, nose, mouth, and throat; high concentrations can cause fainting.

• Ethyl methacrylate (EMA) (artificial nail liquid): asthma; irritated eyes, skin, nose, and mouth; difficulty concentrating. Exposures while pregnant may affect your child.
• Formaldehyde (nail polish, nail hardener): difficulty breathing, including coughing, asthma-like attacks, and wheezing; allergic reactions; irritated eyes, skin, and throat. Formaldehyde can cause cancer.
• Isopropyl acetate (nail polish, nail polish remover): sleepiness, and irritated eyes, nose, and throat.
• Methacrylic acid (nail primer): skin burns and irritated eyes, skin, nose, mouth, and throat. At higher concentrations, this chemical can cause difficulty breathing.
• Methyl methacrylate (MMA) (artificial nail products, though banned for use in many states): asthma; irritated eyes, skin, nose, and mouth; difficulty concentrating; loss of smell.
Quaternary ammonium compounds (disinfectants): irritated skin and nose and may cause asthma.
• Toluene (nail polish, fingernail glue): dry or cracked skin; headaches, dizziness, and numbness; irritated eyes, nose, throat, and lungs; damage to liver and kidneys; and harm to unborn children during pregnancy.


Report any health problems you think are from the products you use in the workplace to your employer and doctor. Employers must follow up on reports of health problems from workers.

 

This article is a short summary and a part of OSHA 3542-2012; Nail Salon Workers: Stay Healthy and Safe While Giving Manicures and Pedicures. You can find this publication here in various languages (English, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese)

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