While I never have, I know many who make it a weekly ritual to visit a nail salon to get painted. While I have insisted that the three women in my family only do their nails outside or in the garage to avoid polluting the air in our home, I was deeply saddened by a recent article in the NYTimes about the women who work in nail salons.
According to the article, nail salon workers (not to mention their clients) are surrounded by toxins on the job. They’re exposed to toluene, which is a colorless liquid used as a solvent, formaldehyde that helps harden nails and dibutyl phthalate, a plasticizer that makes nail polish flexible to prevent shipping. “The intensity of exposure for salon workers is 1,200 times what it would be for the average American,” said Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst for the Environmental Working Group.