Acrylic nails… worried


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Aug 4, 2015
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Hi guys bit of a random one

I’ve been doing acrylic nails for ten years now no health issues or allergies and I’m very competent with it.

I do mobile and use a shed in my garden…

I’ve just had a baby and only just become kind of of conscious of vapours and harming my health… think I just read somewhere nail techs being at risk of cancer and it’s playing on my mind…

I don’t use gloves or a mask I’m pretty relaxed … I do use a mask when I use my e file mine you.

Anyone shed any light on the risks of doing acrylic nails?
I’m afraid that there isn’t any research into the risk of industrial diseases in the beauty sector. However there is ample evidence from other industries that exposure to chemical vapours and dusts needs to be carefully monitored in order to stay safe. Just using a mask isn’t enough I’m afraid.

Until recently, Women tended to work only briefly before having babies and then they didn’t return to work until possibly their 50’s. For this reason we are less aware of “women’s industrial diseases” There’s years of evidence about farmers lung and miners ailments and asbestosis. We’ll have to wait and see now that it’s so normal to combine family life and a career.

There are some industrial diseases that take 40 years to show up as damaged lungs. But it doesn’t take a lifetime of exposure to do the damage. My father - in - law didn’t like the chemicals and dusts in industry when he was an apprentice so he changed career in his mid 20’s. He still died from his exposure which was terribly sad as he didn’t drink or smoke, had always been the perfect weight and was generally in great health.

Men are much more aware about the risks in industry. I used to work for the Army in the 90’s and we were always being told to be very careful to wash our hands before we went to the loo.. The fears were that testicular cancers were caused from contamination via unwashed hands during urination and that was just from general dirt and grease in storerooms - not from handling any chemicals.

Breathing in dust creates cancer in the lungs. That’s been known for 100 years which is why there are regulations about air quality which require both an in desk filter and an above desk filtration system as well as PPE. There is information about the standards on the HSE’s website. But there’s no desire to protect women from themselves, so you rarely get inspected to make sure you’re safe. It’s assumed you’d do what you need to do because the dangers are so well known.

Eating chemical dust on fingers/coffee mugs/general inhalation is also likely to increase risks of stomach cancers. It’s not known whether exposure generally creates additional risks to reproductive organs. There just isn’t the research.

We are seeing an epidemic of nail product allergy problems which suggests toxic overload in the workplace is very common. That’s a real worry.

There are lots of historical cases of women who have been harmed by washing their partner’s contaminated overalls. And in home pollution is one of the causes of asthma. Of my siblings I’m the only one with asthma. I’m the eldest of 5 kids. My father smoked over me, but he noticed I screwed up my face when he was smoking so he decided to stop and never smoked over my siblings. Presumably that brief exposure damaged my lungs.

So assume that any vapours are dangerous and know that all dusts are potentially lethal and take great care. It’s worth bearing in mind that babies and youngsters with developing lungs are especially vulnerable and be very mindful about the risk of bringing workplace contaminates into the home through shoving uniform into the bathroom laundry bin or sorting unwashed laundry in the kitchen. Never shake out your salon gear inside your home - do it in the garden. Sort the laundry last thing at night and then clean the kitchen, (rather than doing it during breakfast)

Taking good precautions will keep you and yours as safe as possible. Why take foolish risks?

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