Reducing Chemical Exposures in Nail Salons through Owner and Worker Trainings: An Exploratory Intervention Study
Background Nail salons represent a rapidly growing industry with mainly Vietnamese immigrant workers. Workers routinely handle nail products containing hazardous compounds, yet have limited accessible information to minimize workplace exposures.
Methods We conducted a culturally appropriate pilot intervention on workplace chemical exposure reduction strategies. We trained eight Vietnamese owners, who then trained Vietnamese workers in their salons. We conducted pre-, mid-, and post-intervention assessments with workers, including an in-person survey and personal air monitoring of volatile compounds.
Results Survey results suggested statistically significant increases for chemical knowledge and behavioral changes in glove and mask use, and a reduced prevalence of nose, throat, and skin irritations. Air monitoring results showed a net reduction for methyl methacrylate and total volatile organic compounds, but not for toluene.
Conclusions Worker education disseminated through salon owners to their workers can improve work-related knowledge, behavior, health symptoms, and exposures for select air contaminants, although more research is warranted.