Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Do nail salons breed cancers, other health woes?

Chemicals in nail products threaten manicurists, clients with cancers and miscarriages

Can manicures be hazardous to your health?


According to The New York Times, new medical research shows links "between the chemicals that make nail and beauty products useful…and serious health problems."

The problems are not so distinct for customers, but they're apparently clear for "manicurists who handle the chemicals and breathe their fumes for hour on end, day after day."

In a May 8 article by Sarah Maslin Nir, the Times claimed "stories and tragedy abound at nail salons across the country, of children born slow or 'special,' of miscarriages and cancers, of coughs that will not go away and painful skin afflictions."

Older manicurists, it said, "warn women of child-bearing age away from the business, with its potent brew of polishes, solvents, hardeners and glues that nail workers handle daily."

The federal law that regulates cosmetics safety doesn't require companies to share data with the Food and Drug Administration.

Warnings basically have been ignored by manufacturers of the risky products, and the industry has 
vigorously fought regulation.

As a follow-up to the Times piece, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ordered emergency measures initiated to help quash the health hazards, educate workers of their rights, and fight apparent wage theft. He called for a task force to conduct probes and close salons that don't meet the new standards.

Among the changes he demanded are the mandatory wearing of gloves and masks, proper ventilation for the salons, and requiring bonds to ensure payments to workers.

Cancer in all its forms, of course, is the scourge of our time. Once contracted, it is likely to turn into an ordeal of ups and downs — such as I, Woody Weingarten, chronicled in my VitalityPress book, "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer" — which focuses on a male caregiver's journey through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and the aftermath of all those treatments.

My book also provides up-to-date coverage of breast cancer research and meds — as well as a guide to where help can be obtained.

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