Are you nervous about going to work these days? Are you confused about how to protect yourself and your clients? Do you feel like you understand the real risks of working with the chemicals you use? If you’re pregnant, do you work in fear of endangering your baby? Do you have all the facts you need to work with peace of mind?

It doesn’t matter whether you work in a salon or in an office or in a factory – there are risks and “dangers” in any workplace, but it’s a matter of perspective and knowing how to work safely that allow use to have peace of mind about our health and safety. We cannot protect ourselves by being afraid or giving in to paranoia.

If you have given in to the media blitz against toluene in nail polish and have stopped using it, you need to read the story on toluene that begins on page 82. Although the legal battle is not yet completely settled, the professional nail industry has won a partial victory with the California attorney general’s ruling that salons do not need to post consumer warnings if they use nail polish that contains toluene.

In another health issue, disagreement among manufacturers of disinfectant systems has emerged over whether state boards should require disinfectants to be tuberenlocidal. While the Nail Manufacturers Council has not taken an official position on the matter yet, its new Sanitation Guidelines for Salons no longer require the use of a tubereulocidal disinfectant for implements. (The new guidelines will be published in the NAILS 1994 Fact Book.)

Finally, the health issue on the minds of so many nail professionals: If you’re a pregnant salon professional, go back to the June 1992 article on working safely while you’re pregnant. In the course of reporting about another pregnancy safety article, we asked our original sources to review that article for its pertinence today. They told us that the article still reflects what is known about the effects of salon work of a developing fetus and how pregnant women should alter their work habits.

You work in an environment where you have to be particularly careful. There are no definitive answers on the effect some of the chemicals you work with have on you, but neither are there definitive answers on the danger of so many other everyday substances. What NAILS can do is provide all the information available, solicit comments from experts we trust, print the truth as we know it, and let you make an informed decision.


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