Nail Salon Recognition Ordinance Passes in San Francisco

This month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve legislation created to encourage more nail salons to use non-toxic products.

The Board of Supervisors voted 11-0 on Tuesday in favor of the country’s first Healthy Nail Salon Recognition ordinance.  This ordinance is intended to address occupational and environmental health hazards among San Francisco’s more than 200 nail salons and 1,800 technicians.  Under the ordinance, the city will publicly identify salons that do not use nail polishes containing dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene.  Known as the “toxic trio”, the California Safe Cosmetics Act identifies these three dangerous chemicals as causing cancer or birth defects. More immediate effects of exposure to these chemicals include headaches, dizziness, and asthma.

The Nail Ordinance program encourages nail salons to avoid products containing the toxic-trio by rewarding them with sticker decals from the city to put in their windows, so that customers know that they are toxin-free.

CEH has been a member of the Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, advocating for toxic-free nail salons for the past 5 years.  Many nail salon workers are young women of child-bearing, and immigrants who do not have adequate access to healthcare.  This exacerbates the risk of serious health problems—including cancer, respiratory illness, and reproductive harm—triggered by the toxic chemicals commonly found in salon products.

Read the full New York Times story for more details on the Healthy Nail Salon Recognition ordinance.