In their Community Information Sheet, the EPA warns all nail salon operators about the dangers of airborne chemical exposure, common in the business.
Why do nail salons need to reduce air pollution?
People are exposed to toxic air pollutants at sufficient concentrations, for sufficient durations, may increase their chances of getting cancer or experiencing other serious health effects, such as reproductive problems, birth defects, and aggravated asthma. Pollution prevention can reduce the impact of air pollution by using materials, processes, or practices that reduce or eliminate air pollution at the source.
Nail salons offer manicure and pedicure services to their customers. These activities include shaping, polishing, and otherwise maintaining natural and artificial nails, all of which may release pollutants into the air and may contribute to health concerns in the salon and in the community.
The best nail salons implement pollution prevention strategies not only to comply with federal, state, local, and Tribal laws but also to go beyond compliance and further minimize impacts on human health and the environment. Check with your state, local, or Tribal agencies for existing regulations.
What kinds of air pollutants may come from nail salons?
The products used in nail salons usually contain solvents and other chemicals that may have adverse health effects on workers and customers.
Many nail salon products contain solvents, which can release volatile organic compounds (VOC) and some toxic air pollutants. Chemicals in these substances can also react in the air to form groundlevel ozone (smog), which has been linked to a number of respiratory effects.
Exposure to some artificial nail products, such as ethyl methacrylate, can cause asthma. Ethyl methacrylate is commonly used as an alternative to methyl methacrylate monomer.
Some nail salon products may also contain toxic air pollutants. While federal, state, local, and Tribal regulations limit the amount of emissions from nail salons, dangerous releases of VOC and toxic air pollutants can occur if a nail salon is not in compliance with regulations. Filing artificial nails generates particle pollution (dust). This dust can cause eye irritation and redness.