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What health dangers do nail salon workers face?

Many people go to salons to have a manicure and pedicure and generally feel pampered. However, they're often not aware of the health hazards faced by the people who work in these salons.

There are over 375,000 professionals working in salons across the country. In most of these salons and small businesses where these people work are either contractors or employees.

Salon workers face health hazards caused by the multiple chemicals found in nail polish, glue, emollients, polish removers and multiple other products with which these professionals work every day. These chemicals may cause or exacerbate skin disorders, respiratory illnesses (including asthma), reproductive issues, liver disease and even cancer.

Chemicals aren't the only problem, however. Because they are in close contact with people as well as equipment that hasn't been properly cleaned, they may risk biological hazards such as viruses and fungi as well as infections. Exposure to clients' blood can cause diseases including hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus.

Further, because they spend hours on end bent over and doing repetitive work, salon workers may experience ergonomic hazards that include muscle strains and injuries to bones, tendons, nerves, ligaments, joints and nerves.

Georgia employers owe the people who work for them, whether as permanent employees, temporary ones or contractors, the safest working conditions possible. If you believe that your employer is not providing adequately safe conditions or that you have suffered injury or illness as a result of your work, you have the right to seek compensation to cover medical bills and to consider legal action to hold your employer accountable

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Health Hazards in Nail Salons," accessed Aug. 06, 2015

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