As stated in yesterdays’ post, there is more to the beauty business than meets the eye.  As in any profession, health risks are involved.  Our salon workers are exposed to certain chemicals as well as ergonomic issues.  We want to share with you a couple of more things to think about the next time you want to enhance your beauty! 

Nail Salons:  Note that the risk to chemicals is very low, because three OSHA-regulated ingredients – dibutyl phthalate (DBP , toluene, and formaldehyde ), have been eliminated from leading nail polish brands.  A European Union ban on these products is given credit for this action.  The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics contends that the U.S. ban was the result of a coalition of 160 organizations that organized salon workers and pressured polish makers to remove harmful chemicals.  The director of this campaign states that cosmetics requirements in this country have not been significantly updated since the late 1930’s.  Very little research on nail salon workers or customers has been done.  Due to this Campaign, several hundred cosmetics companies have taken a voluntary pledge to avoid chemicals banned by health agencies outside the U.S. and to fully disclose product ingredients. 

Massage Salons:  Because spas are among the fastest growing elements of beauty business, massage is the main attraction.  A knowledge of ergonomics is important to massage therapists because many of them have experienced pain or musculoskeletal symptoms related to massage work.  Overuse syndrome and tendonitis affecting the neck, wrist and lower back have been reported.

 Massage therapists can prevent injury by keeping their bodies in a neutral posture.  An example of this is: head over the shoulders, shoulders over the hips, hips over the knees and knees over the ankles.  Keeping the body “stacked” in this way helps maintain the normal curves of the spine and it ensures that the muscles alone aren’t holding one upright.  It is also important for massage therapists to maintain good overall health. 

Through the information we have provided, last but not least, is the responsibility of the employer.  They have an important role to play in keeping their personnel injury-free and working longer.  Training is of vital importance and keeping the workplace free of clutter to prevent employees from tripping and falling are expected from the owners.

We all owe a debt of thanks to our beauticians, who not only serve as hair stylists, and more, but also have to be our therapists as well, listening to all our problems.  They are very patient and strive to please their customers, therefore building their clientele. 

Congress is currently considering two proposed laws to make safer cosmetics.  Let’s hope these laws will keep all workers in this field of service to the public safer.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission