It’s most important to wear a mask when filing artifi cial nails. “Especially if you use an electric file,” says Schoon.
Where there is filing dust, there should be dust masks. At least that’s the message from CND chief scientific advisor Doug Schoon, who explains that prolonged, excessive inhalation of nail filings may be harmful. “It’s not that nail filings are a particularly dangerous type of dust,” he says. “It’s that breathing large amounts of any dust for long periods may be harmful, even house dust.”
It’s most important to wear a mask when filing artificial nails. “Especially if you use an electric file,” says Schoon. “Hand-filing creates larger, heavier particles. Electric files create much smaller, lighter particles. These smaller particles stay afloat longer, travel farther, and can lodge deeper in the lungs.
Larger, heavier particles are less hazardous, since they’re more likely to fall to the floor or table. “Nothing you can buy will protect you from dusts better than a simple dust mask,” says Schoon, who recommends getting a disposable mask that is N95-certified. These masks have been tested and shown to block 95% of the tiniest dust particles. He reminds mask-wearers to throw them away after a few days of use since they become ineffective if used too long.