Nail Salons Move to Avoid Using Toxic Chemicals

A recent New York Times article describes national initiatives to make nail salons healthy for workers and clients. San Francisco’s Healthy Nail Salon Recognition ordinance will tackle health hazards for workers in the city’s 200 plus nail salons where many of workers are of Vietnamese descent. The ordinance will publicly identify salons that don’t use the top three common high risk chemicals: Toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde. The California Safe Cosmetics Act lists these as causing cancer or birth defects.

The Healthy Nail Salon project through the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program’s is also mentioned. The project has been training over 120 Vietnamese salons and working with cosmetic technicians in King County with the help of a bi-lingual community outreach coordinator with the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS). Learn more at