Q: Is it dangerous to breath the air in a nail salon?
A: The products used in nail salons usually contain solvents and other chemicals that may have adverse health effects on workers and customers. Many nail salon products contain solvents, which can release volatile organic compounds (VOC) and some toxic air pollutants. People who are exposed to these toxic air pollutants at sufficient concentrations, for sufficient durations, may increase their chances of getting cancer or experiencing other serious health effects, such as reproductive problems, birth defects, and aggravated asthma.
Make certain that the salon is adequately ventilated, and if you spend many hours in the setting and are sufficiently concerned, ask your aesthetician to provide you with a mask. Many salon workers use these mask, so every salon should have a supply on hand.
Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food, raise goats, and make goat milk soap on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.