Q&A

Can dust from filing acrylics can cause serious damage to the nostrils, lungs, kidneys, and liver?

Q.

We have heard that dust from filing acrylics can cause serious damage to the nostrils, lungs, kidneys, and liver. Is this true? If so, what precautions can we take?

A.

Acrylic dusts are not particularly hazardous. However, no dusts are good to breathe in large amounts for prolonged periods – even house dusts. It is very doubtful that serious damage will occur to nostrils, kidneys or liver, but over time the lungs may be affected in some people. Even so, to put things in proper perspective, smoking cigarettes is many hundreds of times more likely to damage the lungs than breathing dusts in the salon. Still, it is recommended that nail technicians wear a dust mask while filing, especially if you use a drill. Drills produce large amounts of very tiny dust particles. It is the tiniest, invisible particles that create most of the risks. Dust masks provide inexpensive and extremely effective protection against even the smallest particles. However, they are completely ineffective against vapors and will not replace proper ventilation. – Doug Schoon

The nail technician should always wear a disposable respirator mask. At the very least, she should use disposable dust/mist respirators. – Sunil Sirdesai

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