Less Toxic Manicures for Healthy Beauty - Women's Foundation California

Wondering where to go for your next manicure? The California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative (a Women’s Foundation of California grant partner) can help you find a salon that will make your nails pretty, without jeopardizing the health of nail salon employees.

This past Tuesday, those lucky enough to stop by San Francisco’s International College of Cosmetology got a taste of healthy beauty. They received a free manicure using nail polish free of three common hazardous chemicals (also known as the toxic-trio): Dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene, commonly found in nail polish, and associated with cancer, birth defects, asthma and other chronic diseases.

The California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative is spreading the word about the availability of these toxic trio free nail polishes, which are not only safer but also of comparable price.

“Nail salon workers are predominately immigrant women of child bearing age and they are working with chemicals that with long-term exposure, can have adverse health impacts,” says Julia Liou of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative. “This is their livelihood and it’s how they put food on the table. We want to figure out how to make this a sustainable, healthy industry for them. And the key is safer products.”

San Francisco Board of Supervisor President David Chiu also introduced an ordinance to create a Nail Salon Recognition Program to encourage San Francisco’s 200 nail salons to replace nail polish containing toxic chemicals with safer alternatives.

To get involved and spread the word, visit the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative’s website, where you can find out how to contact manufacturers to ask for safer products, and tell Congress that this is an important issue. The Collaborative is also encouraging people to ask their local nail salons to use safer products.

Learn more about health hazards of the nail salon industry from this Brave New Films video.

Related posts:
Toxic Toes
– Guest blogger Rebecca Bauen, associate director of Somos Mayfair, writes on the nail polish industry.

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