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II. Reduce or eliminate toxic exposures a

Encourage and support the nail salon community’s compliance with best practices and health and safety laws.

Lack of education and information hinders nail technicians from following best practices in nail salons. Several states have continuing education requirements for licensed nail technicians, but California does not. Continuing education classes on the full range of occupational hazards is more effective in preventing health and safety violations than monetary fines and will help licensees keep better up to date on health and safety issues ranging from appropriate handling and disposal of products containing toxic chemicals to procedures for sanitizing foot spas.

The Oregon Health Licensing Agency which oversees the barber and cosmetology industry in Oregon, has established a program for first time violators of sanitation and infection control regulations where the licensee can either pay a fine or attend a “continuing education” class or seminar. By taking the class, the violation does not go on the individual’s record or impact her or his license.

The Oregon program has reduced the paperwork for the licensing agency. Education has provided licensees with the know-how to correct violations and avoid repeat violations and inspections, saving both the licensees and the licensing agency time and money. Classes are generally affordable, costing approximately $25 per class. Penalties, on the other hand, can run into the hundreds of dollars for licensees.

The lack of training of many owners of nail salons also impedes the application of best practices in salons. In order to open or operate a nail salon in

California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative

nd other health hazards in nail salons.

California, an owner is not required to be a licensed manicurist or cosmetologist or to have taken the applicable courses on health and safety practices and regulations. These factors, along with language barriers, often challenge salon owners in following ventilation, product-use and other health and safety standards in their places of business.

California should look to Oregon again as a model. There, a person may not operate a nail salon without a license.39 Requiring that an owner be trained and licensed as a manicurist or cosmetologist would help ensure that health and safety rules and best practices are followed.

Another stumbling block in applying best practices in salons is that owners and technicians sometimes unwittingly purchase products sold at cosmetology fairs or beauty supply houses that are inappropriate or not legally authorized for certain uses in commercial nail salons.

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Develop a continuing education program and curriculum that can be conducted on- line or in-person, and provide Certificates of Accomplishment upon completion of courses that can be displayed to customers.

  • Provide the option of taking affordable continuing education courses in exchange for eliminating or reducing penalties imposed by BBC or Cal/OSHA for regulatory violations.

  • Require nail salon owners to be licensed as manicurists or cosmetologists with the requisite health and safety education.

  • Require nail salon product manufacturers and

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