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Tox Town - Environmental health concerns and toxic chemicals where you live, work, and play
Hair and Nail Salonsen español

Why are salons a concern?

Hair and nail salon products may contain potentially harmful chemicals that can cause occupational asthma, as well as other health concerns. 

Nail care products can contain many chemicals that may be harmful to salon workers and shop owners, including benzene, which is known to cause cancer, and formaldehyde, which is suspected to cause cancer. Other harmful chemicals in nail care products include acetone, acetonitrile, dibutyl phthalate, ethyl acetate, fiberglass, titanium dioxide, toluene, and volatile organic compounds

Because many chemicals in nail products evaporate into the air, salon customers may also be exposed to these chemicals at a salon. Hair and nail salons should be properly ventilated to circulate fresh air into the salon. 

Children are especially at risk if they are exposed to (or accidentally drink) nail polish removers and artificial nail removers. Polish removers are sometimes used as recreational inhalants to get "high". 

Some hair dye products contain ingredients that may irritate the skin. Some products must not be used for dyeing eyelashes or eyebrows because they may cause blindness. Other hair dye products contain ingredients that can penetrate the skin. 

Salon workers are also exposed to latex dust if they use latex gloves.

Web Links from MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine)
Household Products
Piercing and Tattoos
Sun Exposure (indoor tanning)

More Links
Cosmetic Products and Ingredients (Food and Drug Administration)
Hairdressers. Haz-Map (National Library of Medicine)
Nail Salons (Environmental Protection Agency)
Personal Care. Household Products Database (National Library of Medicine)
Salons and Health. PubMed/MEDLINE - Journal articles (National Library of Medicine)
UV Tanning Equipment (Environmental Protection Agency)

Chemicals in Salons
Are these chemicals in MY environment?
Volatile Organic Compounds

Last Updated: October 28, 2008

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