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about how chemicals are used in every day consumer products or in manufacturing processes. Programs at the federal level that are designed to collect this information are voluntary and only ask for minimal health information.

Existing policies address the health impacts of chemicals on a chemical-by-chemical or use-by-use basis. Even chemicals that are widely recognized as highly hazardous have escaped restrictions because of a weak regulatory framework, strong pressure from chemical industry lobbyists, and weak EPA enforcement. Workers, low-income communities, and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the health effects of hazardous chemicals in the environment and in products.

Pursuant to AB 1879/SB 509 (2008), the state is proactively undertaking a role in the identification, prioritization, and regulation of substances designated as “chemicals of concern” found in consumer products, including chemicals and combinations of chemicals used in nail salon products, and identification of potentially safer alternatives. These programs are part of the state’s larger Green Chemistry Initiative (GCI) designed to better regulate all chemicals in commerce in California.

The legislation also establishes a Toxics Information Clearinghouse to collect and distribute information about hazardous chemicals. The new Clearinghouse will provide information to businesses and consumers about the health hazards associated with the chemicals of concern, leading to informed choices about products that contain them.

Since this online clearinghouse is intended to provide information to allow for better choices, it is essential that the clearinghouse include information beyond the traditional health endpoints such as cancer and reproductive toxicity, and include

California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative

information about emerging health threats such as endocrine disruption and multi-generational effects. While this information may be difficult to gather currently, the database must be designed in such a way that it can accommodate new information.

Currently, there is no law requiring disclosure of certain ingredients such as fragrances, flavorings, and anything designated as “trade secrets.” The situation is worsened when it comes to professional use nail products because they are excluded from ingredient labeling requirements. Full disclosure to the toxics clearing house of all ingredients used in products should be required.


  • Prioritize and slate for phase out or other regulatory action toxic chemicals used in the nail salon industry.

  • Include key chemicals of concern used in nail salon products in the online Toxics Information Clearinghouse as well as the spectrum of potential health effects that may be associated with them.

  • Include chemical use information in the toxics clearinghouse, requiring all product ingredients to be listed by manufacturers.

Develop a statewide Green Nail Salon Program.

Green or environmentally-friendly businesses are gaining in popularity. The term “green” is generally used to denote a business, practice, or product that has greatly reduced its negative impact on the environment. Some nail salons in California and across the country are tapping into the positive trend of “going green.”

Unfortunately, there are no statewide or national green standards for the nail salon industry. Some


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