Industry Legislation

California Bill Aims to Make Pedicures Safer

After learning about the numerous amounts of clients who were contracting bacterial infections and leg lesions after visiting salons, California Assembly Speaker pro Tem Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/Daly City) knew he had to do something, especially since many of the cases were being reported in the Bay Area, where he is located. “What was disturbing to me was that the customers didn’t know the salons had committed any [safety or sanitation] violations,” says Yee.

That realization prompted Yee to introduce legislation that would establish minimum safety standards for pedicure equipment and ensure that salons have procedures to ensure proper, safe, and sanitary operation of pedicure spa equipment. The bill would establish proper protocols for disinfecting all multiuse tools and equipment between clients. It would also require the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to display a notice warning clients if a salon has received a violation, as well as letting clients know that proper cleaning and disinfection procedures have been followed. If a salon does receive a violation, the notice will be posted until the salon owner or nail technician informs an inspector the problem has been corrected.

So far, AB 1263 has been enthusiastically received, passing in the Assembly with a 74-3 vote. The bill is currently in the Senate, where it will be heard in late June. “I’m pretty confident it will pass,” says Yee. If the bill does pass, it would become law effective January 1, 2006.

Although Yee was prompted to introduce the bill after hearing about bacterial infections clients were contracting after receiving pedicures — mainly due to the lack of proper cleaning and disinfecting of pedicure spa equipment — the proposed law would pertain to any violation the salon commits and not just focus solely on pedicures and pedicure spa equipment. “AB 1263 will significantly cut down on the number of infections, but more importantly this bill should give consumers a reasonable sense of protection,” says Yee. “It is imperative that we protect the health and safety of all consumers.”

Yee says that prior to introducing the bill he was not aware the state board had issued pedicure throne cleaning guidelines. “We want a discussion to see if we should add anything more to these standards,” he says. So far, the board has been supportive of the bill.

“I hope everyone in the nail industry will support and appreciate this bill for the help and protection it brings the business,” says board president Della Condon. “People have had a serious loss of confidence in getting a manicure or a pedicure. We’ve got to turn that around. We’re working to make sure these outbreaks don’t happen again.”

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