Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Haley Reading Group: “Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers”


[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2016)]

Cynthia A. Campbell

Sarah Maslin Nir’s article “Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers” focuses on the hazardous conditions of working in nail salons. Nir illuminates the disagreement between health advocates and industry officials of the potential dangers to workers. Ultimately, the article speaks to evidence that there is a connection between the chemicals in the nail products and resulting medical problems for the workers and their offspring.

Nir’s discussion of workers’ breathing problems was especially enlightening. At one point, Nir notes that ‘In interviews with over 125 nail salon workers, airway ailments…were ubiquitous” (206). This point indicates a link between breathing problems and the chemicals in the nail products.

After reading Nir’s article, what was one point concerning the health risks to the workers that caught your attention?

63 comments:

Deborrah B. said...

One of the things that caught my attention was how studies have shown a correlation between certain conditions and having a job in cosmetology (hairdresser, manicurists, make-up artist, etc.). (204) They have shown an elevated rate of deaths from Hodgkin's disease, low birth-weight babies, and multiple myeloma. What adds to this is that the federal law that regulate cosmetics is over 75 years old and doesn't require companies to notify the FDA about possible harmful chemicals. This is really horrible considering how large cosmetic companies are, and yet they are putting people at risk for developing these conditions since the laws regulating them are so old.
Deborrah B.

Zaria Whitlock said...

I found it interesting that officials have decided to ignore the information that has been found through multiple studies. On page 204 Nir points this out, "'When we talk about nail polish, there's no evidence of harm.' Health advocates and officials disagree, pointing to the accumulated evidence" (Nir p.204). It is unsettling to me that officials continue to ignore the facts that are shown to them. I believe there needs to be something done about these nail shops and the fumes these workers are being exposed to and the potential health risk they face.

Zaria W.

Kenisha Townsend said...

While reading this article, I was really alarmed at the fact the chemicals used in nail salons contribute to miscarriages and abnormal fetal development along with many other health issues (p.204). Sadly, this didn't stop nail salon workers from leaving their jobs, because they needed to make a living. This reminded me of the nail salon in a mall located near my home where the fumes are very loud. The minute you enter the main entrance of the mall, it is the first thing you smell. However, I never really thought about the impact the fumes could have on the workers. In addition, I don't get my nails done at salons, but I wondered if, due to the strong fumes there, are these same health issues affecting those that go to salons very often.

Asher Denkyirah said...

I think I have only been to a nail salon once in my life and even in that first experience, I realized how strong smelling the chemicals that were being used were. But, reading this section about working environment at nail salons, especially on page 207, which Sarah talks skin disorders being a problem, it opened my eyes to a lot of things. I think it is important to make sure that all nail salons are FDA approved. To make sure that all the workers are in safe environments and are not easily exposed to harm.

- Asher Denkyirah

Asher Denkyirah said...

I think I have only been to a nail salon once in my life and even in that first experience, I realized how strong smelling the chemicals that were being used were. But, reading this section about working environment at nail salons, especially on page 207, which Sarah talks skin disorders being a problem, it opened my eyes to a lot of things. I think it is important to make sure that all nail salons are FDA approved. To make sure that all the workers are in safe environments and are not easily exposed to harm.

- Asher Denkyirah

Joshua Jones said...

The risk that I thought more on was that the conclusions of the relationship between the chemicals used during nail/salon treatment and the effects on health are being eluded. The industry officials stated "their products contain miniscule amounts of the chemicals" that were hazardous, on page 204. This related to the second page, page 205, where the nail/salon places tried to get their workers to wear protective gear but since it was "such unsightly gear," they do not wear it. I think that this is wrong because anything that links to possible cancers and miscarriages needs to be addressed properly such as people in laboratories of science.

-Joshua J.

Brandy Collier said...

Reading this article gave me a lot of insight on the connection between health issues and working in nail salons. On page 208 the author states, "The chemicals are not healthy for your lungs, your liver, and sometimes they begin cancer"(208). I have been to nail shops a few times and I am aware that the smell is strong but I had know idea that being around it all the time could effect someone's health. I didn't know that the chemicals could cause cancer.

-Brandy Collier

Paris Smith said...

When I was reading and I came across when they said that the chemicals used in nail salons contribute to miscarriages and abnormal fetal development along with many other health issues (p.204). I was stunned and amazed because I have gone to nail salons and have gotten acrylic nails done but I never thought that the chemicals that they were using could do so much damage. I never really even considered it because I thought that they were just for nails to help it last longer but now, I am really thinking hard about everyday things that I use more carefully. Also, there are a lot of things that we use that can cause harm that we don't even know about. So, this can help make people more conscientious about the products that they use and buy.

Aleeya Barrolle said...

The point that caught my attention about the different illness that the workers received. "A number of studies have also found that cosmetologists - a group that includes manicurists, as well as hairdressers and makeup artists - have elevated rates of death from Hodgkin's disease, of low birth-weight babies, and of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer" (204). From this statement above I was able to learn the effects that chemicals have on the worker's health.

-Aleeya B.

Sierra Taylor said...

I have never heard of this topic before. The paragraph in the beginning of the story talks about the health dangers of nail salon workers. The text says,"The prevalence of respiratory and skin ailments among nail salon workers is widely acknowledged. More uncertain, however, is their risk for direr medical issues. Some of the chemicals in nail products are known to cause cancer; others have been linked to abnormal fetal development, miscarriages, and other harm to reproductive health." It makes total sense because of the chemicals in nail polish, but it's not really talked about. I know correlation does not equal causation, but I believe that doesn't mean that the chemicals present in nail products should not be paid attention to.

Mike Dade said...

What stood out to me most was how the federal law that regulates cosmetics safety, does not require companies to share safety information with the FDA (204). While the big-name corporations continue to profit off hazardous commodities, they also continue to put the same workers that push their merchandise in danger. It's sad to see so many people be affected from by-products of their workplace without anyone stepping in to offer a solution or help. These companies are more worried about their revenue, rather than the health and well-being of employees and that's simply inhumane.

J'kolbe Kelly said...

What caught my attention the most in this article can be found on page 207. Ki Ok Chung was quoted saying, "'I realized my fingerprints had been disappearing.' Today she cannot hot or cold dishes without searing pain." This was so striking to me because i was unaware that these types of cases were popping up for manicurists. If the pain she suffers isnt bad enough she has lost the ability to keep things secured or be identified by way of fingerprints

Brandon Nichols said...

On page 211, it states "The law also does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information with FDA." This statement makes me wonder of all the dangers that these workers are subjected to. It's already bad enough that the FDA lets cosmetic producers to use whatever ingredients they need to make a product. They should at least make the cosmetic companies test their products on actual humans before putting them out to the public. The FDA is just turning their heads to this obviously dangerous situation. The cosmetic business is very profitable, and causes economic growth. That's probably the main reason why the FDA does not do anything.

Brandon N.

Donovan Washington said...

After reading Sarah Maslin Nir's article on the hazardous conditions nail salon workers have to deal with, I was shocked when she stated, "Of the 20 common nail product ingredients ... 17 are hazardous to the respiratory tract" (206). This is really interesting because I never would have thought that there are so many problem causing chemicals within a product that is so heavily used in America and the entire world.

-Donovan Washington

Jazsmine Towner said...

The entire article was surprising because I never heard of the hazardous work environment in nail salons. The most concerning point made in the article in my opinion was "The prevalence of respiratory and skin aliments among nail salons workers is widely acknowledged... Some of the chemicals in nail products are known to cause cancer; others have been linked to abnormal fetal development, miscarriages, and other harm to reproductive health" (204). This is concerning to me because I don't understand why no one has put an end to the health risks in regards to nail salons. If there are known causes of cancer and other heinous diseases I don't understand why those products are still being used. My question to companies who make these products would be: Is there any way to modify the ingredients to make the product less harmful to employees?
-Jazsmine Towner

Jasmin Smoot said...

One health concern that caught my attention was the increasing rate of miscarriages. If there is a direct link between miscarriages and the chemicals used in nail salons that these companies are not disclosing to the workers or customers, then something must be done about it. These women make a career out of this, but most may not even be aware that they are harming their future children or ruining the chances of giving birth. This is my first time even hearing about something like this and it's almost unbelievable.

Aja J said...

One point concerning the health risks to nail salon workers that caught my attention was the skin problems that the chemicals could cause. A manicurist named Ki Ok Chung’s fingerprints were pretty much nonexistent after working with files, solvents, and emollients for years. “ Today, she cannot touch hot or cold dishes without searing pain” (207). This was something I found somewhat disturbing. The fact that she worked with all those chemicals and continued to work just to make a living seems horrible.

Naomi Olsson said...

This article really opened my eyes to the hidden truth of nail salons. I found the whole article very interesting and very sad. The part i found most interesting was "in recent years, in the face of growing health concerns, some polish companies have said that they have removed certain controversial chemicals from their products. But random testing of some of these products by government agencies showed the chemicals were still present"(205). This paragraph really hit me. to see that these big companies are willing to put peoples lives in risk to save money for themselves. It is disgusting that the human life can be seen as so little compared to money.

Jasmine Williams said...

I was most concerned by the statement that a salon owner was diagnosed with scarcoidosis. Her lungs "appeared as if covered with granules of sand, streaked by the scars" (206). When I get my nails done, the first thing I notice when I walked in, is the strong chemical smell. But I never noticed the negative consequences the chemicals have on the employees.

Jasmine Williams

Nia Piggott said...

This article made me aware of how much of an unhealthy environment nail workers are forced to be in and how it can cause harm to them in the long run. The point that caught my attention was the one concerning the health of workers who are at the childbearing age. " Some of the chemicals in nails products are known to cause cancer; others have been linked to abnormal fetal development; miscarriages; and other harm to reproductive health. " (page 204) I found this to very alarming and I hope that there can be a healthier alternative to be added to the nail tech industry.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who enjoys doing nail art and works on certain designs for hours, so reading this made me think of them and worry about their health. This worry intensified when one point caught my attention: "A number of studies have also found that cosmetologists - a group that includes manicurists, as well as hairdressers and makeup artists - have elevated rates of death from Hodgkin's disease, of low birth-weight babies, and of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer (204)." I never realized how such chemicals could affect someone so badly, and now I wonder if those who practice in cosmetology know of these risks.

-Kyla T.

Jaleelah Muhammad said...

My mom and grandmother always used to tell me that "Beauty Is Pain". But I always thought the pain was endured by the customers. Rarely do I take into account the pain that the workers and beauticians go through. On pages 203-204 as well as pages 208-210, Nir talkes about the multiple miscarriages that so many workers have had as well as the birth defects within their children. It's such a huge sacrifice and oversight on our (the customers) part to go through such hazardous procedures in order to pretty at the sake of the workers and their children.

Crystal Rice said...

The one point in the article that caught my attention about the health risks of the workers was right in the beginning of the article. At first it told us about how Ms. Otavalo, the Ecuadorean immigrant who worked at the nail shop in Ridgewood, Queens, had a miscarriage the previous year while giving s customer a shoulder massage. Then Sarah Nir, the author of the article, said, "Similar stories of illness and tragedy abound at nail salons across the country, children born slow or "special," of miscarriages and cancers...handle daily," (204). And also that some of the chemicals in nail products are known to cause cancer, others to abnormal fetal development, miscarriages, etc. This caught my attention because it is so hard on one to lose a baby, let alone to it being something caused by things in your place of work that is your source of income. This is also touching to me because I want to work with babies, specifically newborns, and it is really sad knowing that a lot of people are losing their kids to these chemicals in nail shops.

Jordan R. said...

On page 204, the passage describes that chemical ingredients in nail supplies that ensure better results and long-lasting finish are linked to respiratory problems, cancer, and skin ailments. It seems easy for people to go through their normal routines and not think of the effects everyday activities have on other people. Continuing to put other people in harms way like this seems unthinkable.

Olivia Slater said...

The reading focused on health regarding employees in the cosmetology/hairdressing field. Page 207 speaks about dermatology problems due to working in such conditions. I found this to be quite interesting because it is not something I would have thought of. Back aches, joint pain, breathing problems; these are things I was aware of. However, the skin irritation and ultimate disorders I was not aware of. This passage has made me think about how all jobs have their hardships and dangers.

Xavier J said...

One thing that caught my attention is that proper safety equipment and procedures such as gloves and masks are not apart of the nail salon workers everyday routine. On page 205 it is stated that "Some states and municipalities recommend workers wear gloves and other protection, but salon owners usually discourage them from donning such unsightly gear." This was striking because it shows that some workers might not have the option to take the proper precautions to minimize negative health effects.

Xavier J

JaLeah M . said...

When the text pointed out that the chemicals from the fumes in nail salons contribute to a number of health issues such as miscarriages and abnormal fetal development (204) I was a little shocked, considering this being the 1st time I've come across this. Although I was shocked, I was not surprised. The fumes in nail salons are quite strong and to think that the workers who go to work every single day and inhale those fumes for hours on end, those fumes could be doing a number of negatively things to those individuals bodies. It seems as if this issue should be something that has more attention but this isn't the case. It causes me to wonder if there is some sort of ventilation system nail salons could acquire to take away the fumes.

Anonymous said...

I found the different ailments caused by the chemicals in nail products extremely surprising. "Some of the products are known to cause cancer ; others have been linked to abnormal fetal development, miscarriages, and other harm to reproductive health.(204)" I think it's wrong that something marketed and sold in so many places can have such negative effects on people and still be sold.

-Marcus U.

Jeremiah T said...

I was confused when the FDA said, "Cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval(211)." I have went in a nail salon a few times and the smell hits me like a brick wall every time and immediately gives me a headache. Its hard to understand why the FDA thinks such strong chemicals should not be tested when anybody who has been in the presence of the chemicals can tell that they are not good for you.
-Jeremiah Terrell

Kaelyn Blunt said...

One of the outstanding points was made to me in one of the firsts paragraphs. It states, "[a] growing body of medical research shows a link between the chemicals that make nail and beauty products useful... and serious health problems" (204). This means that no company can make the statement that there is no research to back up the fact that it is harmful as there are clearly several studies about it. Yet for some reason, these workers are not compensated, or really warned, about the serious health effects these chemicals erupt. It is crazy that this is still going on after all of the research against it.
Kaelyn Blunt

Andre Valentine said...

What really stood out to me on was when on page 207 Ki Ok Chung said her fingerprints disappeared seven times. That's ridiculous that these products that people use everyday can cause such pain that she couldn't even touch hot or cold objects. I can't comprehend why we still use these harmful chemicals if it is causing people so much pain.


Andre Valentine

Mikaela S said...

One point concerning the health risks to the workers that caught my attention can be found on page 204. The author states, "A growing body of medical research shows a link between the chemicals that make nail and beauty products useful...and serious health problems". Because I do enjoy getting my nails done, I go to nail shops a lot, but it never really crossed my mind that their job is bound to make them sick. Of course you see some with face masks on to protect themselves, but I have never really thought any deeper into it. It is mind blowing that something so simple could change a persons life forever.

Trevon Bosley said...

I always knew that their was a problem with certain fumes and the human body , but i never saw true seriousness of these fumes. I see people working as nail techs but I've never considered their health to be in jeopardy from their occupation. I was surprised when the article stated ,"similar stories of illness and tragedy abound at nail salons across the country, of children born slow or special of miscarriages and cancers of that cough that will not go away and painful skin afflictions." I never knew that this many problems can arise from nail fumes. This article was very enlightening.

Anonymous said...

This is in a way news to me, but none of it is that surprising when I think about it. Doing my nails myself can make me feel weird with the chemical smell. I can't imagine just sitting in it for hours at a time for more than half each week. I suppose the only side effect I had a harder time expecting was the finger prints being worn down (207).

-Querra

Tatyana Curtis said...

I am a person that is always at the nail shop or I am doing my own nails. Nail polish has a strong distinct smell. Reading, "The chemicals are not healthy for your lungs, your liver, and sometimes they begin cancer"(208) shocked me because I didn’t realize had bad the chemicals are for you. Now knowing this information makes me really think about the workers that sit there day in and out.

Kathryn Hatches said...

Even though this article seems very obvious, it really put everything in perspective when discussing the effect of chemicals on nail salon workers. The author states, "the chemicals are not healthy for your lungs, your liver, and sometimes they begin cancer" (Page 208). It's troubling to realize the negative effect of our capitalist society on those who work at a place like a nail salon, especially when those workers are often more marginalized.
-Kathryn Hatches

Kytela Medearis said...

I have always wondered the effects of the chemicals in nail salons. Seeing as I am someone who frequents the nail salon often, it makes me wonder if there is a chance that I am affected by the chemicals/odors as well. The quote that stuck out to me the most was, "A number of studies have also found that cosmetologists - a group that includes manicurists, as well as hairdressers and makeup artists - have elevated rates of death from Hodgkin's disease, of low birth-weight babies, and of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer" (204). The people who own these salons put themselves, and their future children at risk in order to make a living, which is absolutely crazy. You would think, that after having so much research done, someone would have found safer chemicals to work around by now. It is not safe for these people to be working with these chemicals and such, and it is also not safe for us consumers by any means. We need to start making changes.

Sydney Oats said...

"A number of studies have also found that cosmetologists - a group that includes manicurists, as well as hairdressers and makeup artists - have elevated rates of death from Hodgkin's disease, of low birth-weight babies, and of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer" (204). It's sad that this is known, yet not much is being done about it. I have personally thought about it myself when going to the nail salon. The smell has a very strong chemical smell, and I know it is not good for them to smell that all the time.

-Sydney Oats

Brianna Reed said...

I found it shocking that a chemical used to help the nail polish go on more smoothly called toluene, impairs cognitive and kidney functioning and can also harm a developing fetus (209). I also found it very alarming that formaldehyde is found in nail polish. It's scary to think of the harmful chemicals that are in cosmetic products, because just like myself, I'm sure many people are unaware. It is also sad that people who take on professions like cosmetologists or manicurists have to risk their health in order to make a living knowing that there are so many adverse effects from chronic exposure.

Persephone Cole said...

The whole passage kept me interested, but a specific part that stood out to me was a quote from Dr. hwu, which says "They come in usually with breathing problems, some symptoms similar to an allergy, and also asthma symptoms--they cannot breathe... it seems that they are either smokers, secondhand smokers, or asthma patients, but they are none of the above. They work for nail salons."(206)
As I read that part, I was really shocked. I cannot believe that it is a known fact that the chemicals that go in nail products are that harmful, and the products are still used on a daily basis by nail technicians. Reading this passage honestly makes me want to never want to go to a nail shop again. The first reason being that I do not want to danger myself, and I also don't want to endanger my nail technician's health any more along with any one else sitting in the shop with me. I am not more sure if I am shocked by the harm these products cause, or the fact that I was not aware about the harm.

Victoria Wright said...

After reading this article, one point concerning the health of the salon workers that caught my attention was the fact that people didn't these health issues seriously until the doctor told them that their jobs were causing issues to their health. For example, Ms. Rocano(p. 208) who noticed these health complications in her son after working in the salon while being pregnant. Although people know that something is wrong, they don't pay it any attention until it is serious, which should be changed. These people should be warned of the many risks before they even start their jobs.

Aliyah Johnson said...

What caught my attention is that there has been so many instances of deformity in the children born of nail salon workers. "Similar stories of illness and tragedy abound at nail salons across the country "(203). the fact that this is not just in one location would be enough information for me to shy away from nail salons.
--Aliyah Johnson

Anonymous said...

This was an interesting article to me because I go to nail salons fairly regularly. I do smell chemicals, but I also see the technicians using masks and gloves so I have never thought of it as a real problem before now. Perhaps if wearing protective gear, such as masks, was mandatory then there would not be as many consequences with the chemicals. Nevertheless, this definitely opened my eyes to the importance of safety. A quote that caught my attention was on 204 when it stated, "A number of studies have also found that cosmetologists - a group that includes manicurists, as well as hairdressers and makeup artists - have elevated rates of death from Hodgkin's disease, of low birth-weight babies, and of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer."

Natasha Handy

Marcus Barnes said...

There are many things I didn't know about or ever think about regarding the dangers that are possible at nail salons. I had no idea of the intensity of some of the dangers could be. In the article, it says, "Some of the products are known to cause cancer; others have been linked to abnormal fetal development, miscarriages, and other harm to reproductive health (204)." I could see cancer, but I never thought there could be birth defects that occur after being exposed to different things at nail salons. I also never imagined it would happen so regularly. "Similar stories of illness and tragedy abound at nail salons across the country, children born slow or "special," of miscarriages and cancers...handle daily (204)." That is insane and really alarms you to what nail salon employees and nail salon customers need to watch out for and do their best together to prevent these kinds of problems from reoccurring.


~ Marcus B.

Anonymous said...

One point concerning the health risks to workers that caught my attention was how the chemicals in the products being used in several occupations cause problems with births such as abnormal birth defects (page 204). This speaks to companies lack of thought and care for their patients and their unwillingness to change products because they know they will find people who need jobs and don’t care. --Sandra Y.

Kelsey W said...

The health risks posed to these women are horrible and not something that consumers of these salons think about. What really made me think was the one person that said she couldn't quit working because who would pay her bills and another who tried finding a new job but couldn't because of her lack of English. Most of these nail salon employers are Asian and probably are not fluent in English, so that is a much bigger problem that these people can't find work elsewhere because our country is not helping them to be successful in America. That is the problem that really caught my attention. We can live without manicures but these people can't live without income.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was very intriguing that many officials within the article have made the decision to ignore the information clearly presented to them. On page 204 the author shows this, they say, "When we talk about nail polish, there is no evidence of harm. Health advocates and officials disagree pointed to the accumulated evidence." It is very crazy to think that these officials choose to ignore the evidence that is presented to them. Something needs to be done with these fumes to prevent the health risks that many are exposed to. --Gabrielle W.

A. Robinson said...

When I was reading, the point that shocked me was that the chemicals used in nail salons are shown to contribute to miscarriages and abnormal fetal development along with many other health ailments that they included in the chapter (p.204). I thought this was alarming because if this is shown to be true, why has no action been taken to make nail salons more healthy to the workers

Anonymous said...

The point that most stood out to me came early on, on page 204 the author talks about all the prevalent side effects of working in a nail saloon that have been identified by those who work there. Talking about links between dealing with chemicals that knowingly can cause cancer and reproductive problems like miscarriage or birth defects. If working in a nail saloon can cause these harms why haven't we found a way to counter the harms of working there is what I want to know.

De'Abrion Joyner

Maya Searcy said...

The part that stood out to me the most was when the author says "When we talk about nail polish, there's no evidence of harm.' Health advocates and officials disagree, pointing to the accumulated evidence." I found this interesting because I thought it was odd that officials would ignore what was proven. It just doesn't make any sense. There is no use in alarming people with something that is not true.

Fiona Hill said...

The point that stood out to me was the effects of the chemicals have on expectant mothers and their babies. I never knew the chemicals used had such strong, negative effects. Its especially concerning to me because I know many nail techs and work in cosmetology that are expectant mothers and they still work every day.

Peyton D. said...

This was a very interesting chapter and this topic is something I have personally contemplated myself while getting my nails done. Page 208 discusses the horrible effects of the many chemicals in our cosmetic products. There are the toxic trio which are 2 chemicals that are the most serious. The FDA approves use of these chemicals even though they can cause harm to unborn children or infertility. The author also speaks about a woman who worked in the salon for 6 months while pregnant and now her child is behind developmentally and physically. The former salon owner is right, if people knew they would not go to nail salons. There is no simple solution. If we shut down nail salons, thousands of immigrants with limited English will be without jobs. The government is doing harm by knowingly allowing these dangerous chemicals to be used and subsequently inhaled or absorbed by people.

Cheniya Alston said...

The most alarming fact for me was how the chemicals present in nail salons were shown to contribute to nor only abnormal fetal development, but miscarriages as well. As a girl from a big city like Chicago where it is almost expected that your nails, amongst other things like hair, is done, it greatly concerns me that somewhere I and a lot of other people spend a certain amount of time, can be potentially fatal for an unborn child.
What is even more disturbing, It is pointed out that, "'When we talk about nail polish, there's no evidence of harm.' Health advocates and officials disagree, pointing to the accumulated evidence" (Niv 204). This disturbs me because this is something women are readily expected to do, yet they reap these harmful effects. Not only that, but it is ignored by those who are supposed to inform us. What the world wouldn't do for beauty.

Breanna B. said...

It's not too crazy to think the chemicals used in these industries cause things such as abnormal fetal development, miscarriages, and other health issues (page 204). The few times I have been to a nail/hair salon, the smell of chemicals hits you in the face. The acrylics, acetone, toner, etc.; these people are breathing the fumes given off by these various chemicals. We should work to implement a way for those working in this field can practice their expertise safely. I work in SIUE's Chemistry Department, stocking chemicals for research and teaching labs. If we care about the safety of ourselves and students, we should see the same care in cosmetology.

Anonymous said...

One point that stood out to me concerning the health risks that manicurists face is that clients and customers worry about to cleanliness and safety of the nail salon, when the manicurists should be the ones more concerned. The chemicals that they interact with on a daily basis have much more of an effect on their health than it does on their customers' health. I hope there are more federal regulations put in place to protect these workers and keep them from endangering themselves.

Carlie Bibbs

Anonymous said...

Overall the entire article was rather shocking to me. I personally love getting me nails done and when i have a job that allows me to do so, i typically get my nails done once a week. It's baffling to know something i enjoy so much can cause so much harm to people. On page 205 it really put a light on it when they called it an epidemic. Not just a hanfful of people were becoming sick but hundreds.
Sydney j.

Tiera Williams said...

The article caught my attention as a whole, because I am one to visit the nail shop frequently. IT is not a surprise however, how harmful the chemicals potentially are due to the fact that the people who work their typically where masks when doing anything chemically related. The point that caught my attention the most was on page 211. The text states, "Neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients." This is interesting to me because the United States regulates everything else and nail shops are slipping through the cracks. I don't think the government realizes how much of a lucrative business nail shops are and its hurting everyone by not having these regulations.

Tiera W.

John Kriha said...

One thing concerning the health risk of workers that caught my attention was how life threatening the exposure was. According to Maslin, "Some of the chemicals in nail products are known to cause cancer; others have been linked to abnormal fetal development, miscarriages, and other harm to reproductive health." I believe there should be strict laws regarding which chemicals are allowed to be used in cosmetic shops.

Anonymous said...

A concerning point about the health risk of workers that caught my attention was from page 204 when it says that chemicals that are used in nail salons contribute to miscarriages and abnormal fetal development and other health issues. As a woman this is extremely concerning because it is something that I would never want to experience and it should not be okay for any other woman to have to experience that either.
~Tashawna N.

Jazmyn Maggitt said...

The quote from Ms. Colon who used to work at a nail salon, "'We made money off it, but was it worth it?'" (206). This stood out to me because it's basically the question the entire article is questioning. There is the old saying that "beauty is pain" but this makes me wonder who is actually feel the pain. These people are risking their health just so that our nails can be a certain color for a couple weeks? I have paid to get my nails so many times I can't even count because having my nails done makes me feel "prettier" and that my life is more together when the reality is that as long as you take of your nails you can portray the same message without i being detrimental to anyone's health.

Xavier Morrison-Wallace said...

When analyzing the statements on pages 204 and 207, there should be increased attention to workers handling any type of chemicals. Health issues and cosmetics go hand in hand. Safety issues should be addressed when handling cosmetics similar to how a chemist in a laboratory does. This will raise concerns and awareness not only by the workers, but by the consumers as well. With this concern, I believe more reliable and trustworthy efforts can be made to employ safer chemicals in cosmetic products. The only reason I mention trustworthy is because on page 205 it states that companies removed certain "controversial" chemicals from their product. But also on page 205 tests were done and showed the results of some harmful chemicals were still present.

Bryce Barker said...

On page 206, it talks about how many of the patients that came into Dr. Hwu's office show signs of being smokers, second hand smokers, or having asthma, but it was due to all of the chemicals they were inhaling from the nail polish. It is hard to read this because one of the basic necessities you need to thrive is the ability to breath and the people who work in these environments sacrifice that to make what they consider good money. Money won't do you any good, if you aren't breathing to be able to use it.

Bianca w said...

I found it interesting how there FDA rules aren't up to date. Why hasn't anyone been paying attention to these paws that are suppose to keep the workers who work in these types of conditions safe? Also on page 204 it talks about all the things that can result from being around these harmful chemicals such as miscarriage and abnormal fetal development. There should be laws in what chemicals can be used and the precautions that should be taken if a pregnant woman is near them.