METROPOLIS LA

nail polish.jpg

CHEMICAL HAZARDS

inherent in nail salons  

SOUTH LOS ANGELESNail salons are mostly small businesses that employ or contract with trained professionals to provide clients with nail services including, but not limited to, nail filing and polish- ing, artificial nail application, and other hand- and foot-care treat- ments.

Nail technicians working in salons and their clients across the US face possible health hazards every day. Workers exposed to chem- 

icals found in glues, polishes, removers, emollients and other salon products may experience negative health effects such as asthma and other respiratory illnesses, skin disorders (e.g. allergic contact dermatitis), liver disease, reproductive loss, and cancer.

Nail polishes, glues, and other products used in nail salons may contain the chemicals toluen, formalde- hyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and methacrylate compounds. Many countries across the globe also cate- gorize nail polish as a hazardous substance because of its is high flammability. The chemicals represent the three main culprits found in many nail polishes. These chemicals are known as the "Toxic Trio" or "Big 3."

 

Formaldehyde is a chemical that is a component in plywood and particleboard, and is often used as a pre- servative, sterilizer and embalmer. This chemical is added to nail polishes that are also considered "nail hardeners." The chemical has been considered a carcinogen, linked to nasal and lung cancers, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Dibutyl Phthalate, or DBP is added to nail polish to make it more flexible and less prone to cracks, chips and other annoyances. This chemical however, has been linked to reproductive issues and has been banned in Europe. While it is still approved for use in the in the US, many women choose to avoid it.

 

Toluene is used to help keep nail polish smooth and even when applied. However, this chemical has been linked to issues affecting the nervous system with symptoms that include dizziness, headaches, nausea and eye irritation. Toluene has also been linked to birth defects and developmental problems in children whose mothers were exposed to the chemical during pregnancy. 

Those who are most at risk for negative effects from these chemicals are the technicians who work in nail salons and their clients exposed to them on a regular basis. To minimize risk, wearing masks is strongly recommended for both technicians and clients to minimize the risk of inhaling fumes from the chemicals.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently come out and supported initiatives to promote healthier indoor environments for nail salon workers and their customers. With more and more nail salons popping up across the country, it’s the perfect time to review why nail polish and nail polish remover are considered hazardous waste, and why you should never toss old polish or remover in a regular, everyday use garbage can.

In most cases, nail salons install local ventilation systems over each nail station to reduce workers’ exposure to the toxic chemicals in polish and remover. The flammable ingredients in nail polish include nitrocellulose cotton, lacquer, and toluene. 

The acetone or ethyl acetate solvent found in nail polish remover is also extremely flammable. Ignitability is a key defining characteristic for hazardous waste. After long exposure to any of the above mentioned chemicals, they can contribute to respiratory issues, reproductive effects, and even cancer

Nursing homes warn of third COVID spike due to community spread

 
 
 

With COVID cases increasing in 38 states, industry leaders call on public health officials to ensure nursing homes have resources needed and for Congress to pass additional funding

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MNS)—The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released a report showing nursing homes in the US. could see a third spike of increasing new COVID cases due to the community spread among the general population.

 

Recent data released by John Hopkins and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show that with the recent spike in new COVID cases in the general US population, weekly nursing home cases rose in late September for the first time in seven weeks after new cases dropped significantly throughout August and early September. According to John Hopkins, COVID cases in the general US population rose by 62,139 cases per week in late September correlating with an uptick in nursing home cases the week of Sept. 27.

 

As experts have repeatedly noted, COVID-19 cases in a surrounding community is a top factor in outbreaks in nursing homes. Dr. David Grabowski, professor of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School recently noted, "The strongest predictor of whether or not we’ll see cases in [a setting] is community spread.”

 

“The number one factor in keeping COVID out of our nursing homes, so we can protect our vulnerable population is reducing the level of the virus in the surrounding community," said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. "While the support we have received from Congress, the Administration and other public health agencies have helped our facilities fight this battle, we could still see another wave of COVID cases caused by the sheer volume of rising cases in communities across the U.S. given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of this virus."

 

The report showed new COVID cases in nursing homes had declined significantly from 10,125 cases the week of July 26—when the country experienced a growing number of cases in the Sun Belt states—but saw an uptick in new cases in the final week of September.

 

The report also showed COVID-related deaths in nursing homes had declined significantly, but industry leaders remain concerned about the recent uptick in new COVID cases in facilities.

 

With new COVID cases now rising in the general population of 38 states, Parkinson said now more than ever Congress needs to end the partisan logjam and prioritize frontline health care workers and residents, particularly vulnerable elderly populations.

 

Most of the $175 billion Provider Relief Fund provided by the CARES Act back in April has already been distributed and Parkinson said health care providers, including long term care facilities, will need additional funds to continue its response to the COVID pandemic heading into the cold and flu season, which provides new challenges.

 

“Without replenishing funds for federal and state agencies, health care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living communities, could find themselves less than completely prepared for the challenges of the upcoming winter season, which could inevitably result in an uptick in new COVID cases,” Parkinson said.

 

“Without adequate funding and resources, the US will repeat the same mistakes made during the initial outbreak last spring and the major spike over the summer.

"We need Congress to prioritize our vulnerable seniors and their caregivers in nursing homes and assisted living communities, by passing another COVID funding package before they leave town for the elections," Parkinson added.

 

Metropolis News Service.