Question: What are indoor air quality concerns related to nail salons?

stevie is asking a question about air-quality
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by stevie | July 25, 2019 17:34 | #20310

I'm interested in learning more about indoor air quality concerns for workers and visitors of beauty salons, specifically those who focus on nail care. Does anyone have any ideas or resources?


This Research I did way back in 2018 and guess it might help you as well.

We all go to Parlour, Saloon once(sometimes more than twice) every month and let us be aware of how the chemicals we affect our immune system. The business of beauty parlour has played a major role in generating employment for many people all over the world, and in India. In order to remain profitable and successful, this growing business needs to meet and maintain high standards of hygiene, health and safety, so that no risk is posed to the customers and workers. Parlour workers, a population dominated by women, are exposed to a myriad of chemicals of concern every day in their workplaces.

Sources & Causes: Hair sprays, hair colours, bleaches, permanent waves, acrylic nail application, and numerous other parlour products contain ingredients associated with asthma, dermatitis, neurological symptoms and even cancer. Cosmetologists may be exposed to high concentrations of a mixture of volatile organic compounds. These levels of volatile organic compounds could be decreased significantly by following good practices such as appropriate ventilation of the areas, closing the packages of the beauty products when not in use and finally selecting safer beauty products without strong odour.

Concern pollutants: Acetone, Benzene, Dibutyl phthalate, Ethyl acetate, Fibreglass, Formaldehyde, Titanium dioxide, Toluene, Volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 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.

Investigate Activity to understand Various pollutants in Parlour: Conduct an audit in any Parlour of your own and research on Chemical they use, chemical odour, ventilation and come up with ideas/solutions.

Solution: +1:

Windows and Doors ventilation so that fresh air gets circulated, Use of Natural handmade products(chemical-free), Masks(not a good thing, but can help to a certain extent in not inhaling VOCs), Proper and safe disposal of all used products. Plastic-free and No Tissue papers, Wipes etc too as the tiny particles enter the nose and cause discomfort in breathing.

Source : (PDF) Indoor Air Quality of Beauty Parlours and Salons. Available from: [accessed Jul 09 2018].

This is so helpful! Thank you for sharing.

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Hi @nshapiro, I was wondering if you have any indoor air resources that could be helpful around this question?

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I think the issue is more for the workers than the visitors. There was an expose in the NYT last year or so?

A lot of the work is being lead by women of color who are disproportionately exposed: (most of her work isn't published yet)

I think Reena was telling me that there are also vacuum benches that suck plastic nail shavings and vocs away, which is a stopgap 'solution' for a body products industry that is dominated by petrochemicals.

Dr. Zota has lots of good work one beauty EJ

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Thanks Nick!

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Pinging back in with some more resources. Got an email follow up to this post from @silentsairam I'll share it below!

"With respect to your question on "Air pollution in Indoor environment specific to Hair Salons" on Public Lab forum, sharing here some of the links and papers that might give more insights & necessary information for the same.

Key points: 1) All papers focuses on the primary pollutant HCHO. 2) Addition to that, benzene and all VOCs. 3) Throws more on testing samples , results and Indoor structure of salons. 4) Diseases caused by these chemicals on longer term.

Link and title of the research study:

Here 1 -- Indoor concentrations of VOCs in beauty salons; association with cosmetic practices and health risk assessment

Here 2 -- Indoor Air in Beauty Salons and Occupational Health Exposure of Cosmetologists to Chemical Substances

Here 3 -- Air pollution of beauty salons by cosmetics from the analysis of suspended particulate matter ( Interesting Data)

Here 4 -- Assessing Indoor Air Pollution within Different Areas of Female Beauty Centers and Exploring Their Relation to Various Respiratory Symptoms

Here 5 -- VOC sources and exposures in nail salons: a pilot study in Michigan, USA

Here 6 -- Exposure to BTEX in beauty salons: bio monitoring, urinary excretion, clinical symptoms, and health risk assessments

Hope this helps and thanks for your time."

It does! Thanks so much!

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Gives a complete picture of how PM2.5 and N0X exposure promotes Myopia. Quite alarming and with all air quality data we collect, we could also check Myopia with students and everyone one else.

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