Video offers health and safety tips for nail salon workers and clients

Partnership with Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County produces video illustrating improved ventilation, other safe practices

Nail salon technicians work daily with solvents, glues and other nail care products containing chemicals that can be harmful to them and their customers.

A new video created by the Healthy Nail Salon Project in King County demonstrates how using ventilation and taking a few simple additional precautions can immediately improve indoor air quality and decrease the vapors nail technicians and their customers breathe. The video is also available at www.lhwmp.org/home/Health/nail-salons.aspx

Project partners worked with the University of Washington Department of Environmental Health and Occupational Health Sciences to show how a ventilation device improved air quality for nail salon workers and clients almost instantly.

“One of the challenges in making the video was describing how ventilation can keep harmful vapors out of the work area and create safer workplaces for the technicians and their customers,” said Laurie Foster, Healthy Nail Salon Project coordinator with the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County (LHWMP).

Many nail salons are owned and staffed by Vietnamese immigrants who have not had information or training on chemicals and product safety. The Healthy Nail Salon Project is making all outreach activities and materials available in both Vietnamese and English.

Project partners are working closely with community outreach specialist Tram Duong with the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle, who Duong has helped build connections with Vietnamese salons to create this video.

Foster said very little information exists in Vietnamese on safe chemical handling and other safety practices, and it’s not usually translated into the appropriate dialect for workers. Duong will help interpret the information in the new safety video during in-person safety trainings with nail salon employees.

“Our next step will be to translate the video into Vietnamese to share with local and national partners,” Foster said.

The video was created through a partnership of the Sense Nail Salon, the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle, University of Washington Department of Environmental Health and Occupational Health Sciences, Air Impurities Removal Systems and LHWMP.

Additional workshops, community-based activities and technical assistance visits to salons provide information on:

  • Reducing solvent use;
  • Using safer products;
  • Improving ventilation;
  • Chemical storage;
  • Disposing leftover or waste chemicals as hazardous waste; and
  • Safer work practices, including using gloves, glasses and masks for protection.

The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program is a partnership of local governments including Seattle, King County, the suburban and other cities in King County, working together to manage hazardous wastes and protect health and the environment. More information is available at www.lhwmp.org.

Press Release – Vietnamese version (PDF)