While working on a nail salon ventilation story for the February issue of NAILS Magazine, I was happy to discover some U.S. cities and counties reward salons for improving their work environments. In King County (home to Seattle), Wash., the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program (LHWMP)
instituted a voucher program that reimburses nail salons up to 50% of the purchase price (up to $500 lifetime) for items that lower nail tech exposure to dust and vapors, such as nitrile gloves, N95 masks, and metal cans with tight-fitting lids. And in San Francisco, a law was passed to create a Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program
by which its Department of the Environment recognizes salons that meet certain parameters including ones that “install mechanical ventilation unit(s) within one year of entering recognition program” and that “allow SFE program staff to monitor air quality within the salon.” It even agreed to give away ventilation systems to the first 10 businesses that signed up to become “healthy” salons.
This week, eight of those 10 salons were recognized (there are many more nail salons on board with the Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program in the city, but the other two that signed up first are currently in transition) at a press event for elevating the nail salon industry. The salons are H & M Nail Spa at 1545 Polk St., Jaime & Ivis Beauty Salon at 2859A Mission St., New York Hair & Nail at 3483 Mission St., Salon Belle Linda at 4448 California St., Lombard Heights Nail Salon at 3288 Steiner, Nails by Linda at 2103 Taraval, T&T Nails at 405 Arguello Blvd. #100, and Two Sisters at 2266 Union St.
These salons received a plaque, collateral materials for customers, and promotion by the San Francisco Department of the Environment. The department plans to conduct a consumer education campaign alerting residents to look for the recognition seal when choosing a nail salon.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)’s
regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, Jared Blumenfeld, made a statement as well, “EPA commends the eight nail salons certified today for going above and beyond federal law to protect their workers and serve as examples for the rest of the country and the world.”
With all of the negative press that seems all too common swirling around nail salons, I was happy to hear of this positive story of nail salons being recognized for their great work. If your salon is in San Francisco and you want to join the Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program, here is the application form