Nail technicians would use protective device to avoid exposure to chemicals

 A survey of CIDESCO members into the use of toxic chemicals such as formaldeydes in nail products revealed demand for a “low cost protective device” among 82.4% of the therapists asked.

The survey was conducted by chemistry student Sean Byrne to gauge levels of awareness of and opinion on, the exposure to toxic chemicals during their work. While the vast majority of those asked were aware that formaledhydes can be found in many nail products and of the associated health problems, the study revealed that safety information was inadequate in the beauty businesses involved in the survey.

Byrne found that Material Safety Data Sheets (safety information from manufacturers) were only available in two of the nine businesses. After conducting a gas chromatograph – mass spectrometer (or GCMS) test on 17 nail polishes from “leading” brands, the study also found that two contained EU-banned substance toluene.

82.4% of the members said they would be interested in a protective enclosure device to shield both themselves and clients from exposure to chemicals. Byrne then built a transparent structure with openings to insert the hands, complete with a fan and filter to prevent inhalation of toxic vapours.

CIDESCO has issued recommendations following the study, including improving the availability of safety information in salons, training on how technicians can protect themselves from exposure, and the removal of any nail product containing toulene from sale/use in the EU.