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
- 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.