Skip to main content


Toxic Tort and Workplace Injury Lawyer reviews toxic exposure lawsuits for injured plaintiffs and employees of nail salons nationwide
Nationwide Success

Toxic Exposure in Nail Salons 

investigating toxic workplaces & ventilation hazards

Workers in nail salons spend long days and weeks breathing toxic fumes from nail polishes and other hazardous products, and many the added chemicals are linked to cancer, lung disease, miscarriages, birth defects, and other adverse health conditions.

Skin disorders are also common among nail salon workers. Chemicals in nail salon products are classified as “skin sensitizer,” capable of causing painful allergic reactions.

Studies have found that cosmetologists—manicurists, hairdressers and makeup artists—have an elevated risk for Hodgkin’s disease, low birth-weight newborns and multiple myeloma. Over 30 percent of nail salon workers in one study by the American Journal of Public Health reported suffering from headaches, skin irritation, nausea, or a breathing problem.

A 2006 study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found about 20 percent of nail salon workers had a cough most days and nights.

Joe Lyon is an experienced Workplace Injury Attorney and Toxic Tort Lawyer with experience engaging employers following toxic exposure at nail salons. The Lyon Firm represents injured plaintiffs nationwide.

Toxins & Chemicals in Nail Salons

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not test ingredients used in cosmetic or personal care products before they hit the market. Some reports estimate that the nail industry uses up to 10,000 chemicals in its products, 89 percent of which have not been safety tested by an independent agency. Toxic chemicals may include:

  • Acetone—in nail polish remover, may cause headaches and irritation of the eyes, skin, and throat
  • Acetonitrile—in fingernail glue remover, may cause irritation, breathing problems, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and exhaustion
  • Butyl acetate—in nail polish and polish remover, may cause headaches and irritation
  • Xylene
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)—in nail polish. Long-term exposures are linked to miscarriage, birth defects, and developmental delays in children.
  • Ethyl methacrylate (EMA)—in artificial nail liquid. Exposure during pregnancy may cause birth defects.
  • Methacrylic acid—in nail primer, may cause skin burns and breathing problems.
  • Methyl methacrylate (MMA)—in artificial nails, may cause asthma.
  • Ammonium disinfectants—may cause irritation and asthma.
  • Toluene—in nail polish and fingernail glue, may damage liver or kidneys, and cause birth defects in children who are exposed during pregnancy. Toluene is a type of solvent that may impair cognitive function.
  • Formaldehyde—in nail polish and polish remover, may case cancer, breathing problems, coughing, asthma, and allergic reactions. Formaldehyde is used as a hardening agent in nail products. The National Toxicology Program considers it a human carcinogen.

Legal Action Following Toxic Exposure in Nail Salons 

More than 375,000 nail technicians work in salons across the United States, and face health hazards when exposed to chemicals found in glues, polishes, removers, emollients and other salon products. Nail salon toxic exposure can lead to asthma, respiratory illnesses, skin disorders, liver disease, reproductive loss, and cancer.

The Lyon Firm focuses on toxic tort litigation and takes pride in representing injured consumers and workers. Following a workplace injury or diagnosis of a work-related condition, plaintiffs can file chemical exposure lawsuits against negligent employers and manufacturers of dangerous products.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

Toxic exposure cases help empower employees to fight for their right to be protected, satisfactorily informed, and to stay safe. They also bring awareness to challenge and higher the expectations of companies who are not serving their employees justly.

voice icon

Give Yourself a Voice


Get Justice

Gain Recovery

Gain Recovery

Generate Awareness

Generate Awareness

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 


(Hamilton County, Ohio): Confidential Settlement. Lead Counsel in a case that involved secondary lead exposure to two children. Their father worked at a local recycling plant that routinely recycled computer equipment. The company violated numerous OSHA regulations related to providing safety equipment and clothing to prevent lead particles from being transferred home. As a result, the Plaintiffs father transferred lead dust to his children who then suffered lead poisoning. The case was covered extensively by the Cincinnati news media and referenced in peer-reviewed medical literature. The settlement will provide educational needs to the children who suffered neurological injuries due the exposure.