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Nail salon dust and chemical vapour filters

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BobSweden

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Here are three good reasons to invest in a professional nail salon extraction system, or a professional 3-stage dust/vapour filter system:

Occupational rhinitis
Occupational rhinitis (OR) may be defined as "an inflammatory condition of the nose, which is characterized by intermittent or persistent symptoms (ie, nasal congestion, sneezing, rhinorrhea, itching) and/or variable nasal airflow limitation and/or hypersecretion, due to causes and conditions attributable to a particular work environment and not to stimuli encountered outside of the workplace". OR is different from work-exacerbated rhinitis (WER), which is pre-existing or concurrent (allergic or nonallergic) rhinitis that is worsened by but not caused by workplace exposures. OR can develop in response to allergens, inhaled irritants, or corrosive gases. OR may have a profound effect on the worker, resulting in performance deficits, reduced productivity, and psychosocial problems. OR often coexists with occupational asthma (OA) and may serve as a predictor for future OA

Occupational asthma
Occupational asthma is asthma that's caused by breathing in chemical fumes, gases, dust or other substances on the job. Occupational asthma can result from exposure to a substance you're sensitive to — causing an allergic or immunological response — or to an irritating toxic substance. Like other types of asthma, occupational asthma can cause chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath. People with allergies or with a family history of allergies are more likely to develop occupational asthma.

Avoidance of occupational triggers is an important part of management. Otherwise, treatment for occupational asthma is similar to treatment for other types of asthma and generally includes taking medications to reduce symptoms. If you already have asthma, sometimes treatment can help it from becoming worse in the workplace.

If it's not correctly diagnosed and you are not protected or able to avoid exposure, occupational asthma can cause permanent lung damage, disability or death.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. This disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness.
COPD is a progressive and (currently) incurable disease, but with the right diagnosis and treatment, there are many things you can do to manage your COPD and breathe better. People can live for many years with COPD and enjoy life.


Extraction Systems
These consist of a hood over the table connected by a pipe to an fan that is outside. This extracts the air from the working area and vents it to the outside. They work in the same way as a fume cupboard we remember from the school chemistry lab. A correctly installed extractor system offers the best protection. The offer higher air flow rates, quiet operation and don't have filters that need replacing. The disadvantages are the installation cost, and that these can't easily be moved i.e. if you want to reorganise the salon layout or move to a new salon.

3-stage dust/vapor filter systems

filter_components_EN.jpg

As you can see from this illustration, a 3-stage filter system contains three different filters. The top two filters remove the visible dust and the invisible dust. Visible dust is normally trapped in your nasal passages and not passed into the lungs (unless breathing through the mouth). However, invisible dust that is less than 1 micron in size would be inhaled deep into the lungs.

Invisible dust is especially created by e-files. This dust, like pollution, floats in the air and with every customer the concentration increases - until to thoroughly vent the room by opening all doors and windows. If this dust is under-cured acrylic or gel, you can develop allergies - sometimes on the neck or under the eyes.

The final filter stage is the active carbon filter that neutralises chemical vapours and odours as the air is drawn down through the carbon granules. Because the reaction between the carbon and the chemical vapours is relatively slow, it is very important that the carbon filter is at least 2 inches deep and there is at least 1kg of active carbon. Otherwise not all of the vapours will be neutralised and the dirty air will be passed back into the salon.

Choosing an effective 3-stage filter
Start by asking the vendors if their filter includes an active carbon filter, if this at least 2 inches deep and 1kg of more of carbon granules? This simply question will eliminate 90% of the filters on the market - including all table top filters.

Many low cost nail salon filters don't include an active carbon filter at all, and some do not effectively remove the invisible dust. Others do contain an active carbon filter as one part of a filter replaceable filter cassette. However, often the carbon filter in these cassettes simply consists of a material that has been impregnates with carbon so the filter is very thin, not the 2 inches required.

There are several 3-stage filter manufacturers, who appear to meet the requirements:

If you are located in the USA:
https://aerovexsystems.com

In the UK:
https://www.vodex.co.uk/
http://www.beautylinefilter.co.uk
https://www.salonsuppliesofcrewe.co.uk/.../gvs-1.2-kidney...

If you are located in the USA, see https://aerovexsystems.com

In the UK:
https://www.vodex.co.uk/
http://www.beautylinefilter.co.uk
https://www.salonsuppliesofcrewe.co.uk/.../gvs-1.2-kidney...

Of these, the Beauty Line Filter is the only filter system that is approved in Sweden, where for more than 12 years it is a legal requirement for every nail salon to use an approved 3-stage filter system. However, I suspect that if these other were submitted to the independent laboratory tests, they would also pass.

If other know of other filters that we can add to this list, please let us know. :)
 

Ambermist

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The Ravair Ltd Range of Extraction Units have a slightly different approach. The units mention above by Bob are all dual purpose units that will remove nail dust and also gases and fumes into a filtration system near by or incorporated into the desk. Although only one of these companies provide Independent Lab Reports to prove they work, and that companies' report is over 8 years old, there is no reason to suggest they don't work. In fact we have not read anything to suggest they don't.

Having said that this dual filtration system idea has it's drawbacks. The main problem is the rate of airflow through the system, or rather the lack of it. All these systems state in the specifications a rate of airflow, through the system to the filter, of around 100m3 per hour. This is a very low airflow rate and would mean that any work, filing etc has to be done at the face of the tube on the table. In the only report supplied by one of these companies they state that the test was undertaken by applying the test substance to the tube face.

The Ravair Salon pro has a “triple” set of filters in a similar way as these machines, cotton pad for large dust, 20mm glass hepa for dust/pollen etc to EU Standard EN 1822-1 suitable for hay fever and asthma sufferer's and 3 kilo gas filter 250mm x 250mm x 60mm bed of activated carbon, but at a top flow rate of 595m/3 per hour it will clean a very large room 5mtrs x 5mtrs 2.5mts around 10 times per hour. They are used in shopping malls with 60ft ceilings without problem, and has variable speed so virtually noiseless on low, it’s best operating speed. It also has remote control and is on Wheels for easy movement around the salon. (You could use it near the nail section and then move to the hair section with ease, something Fixed Dual Systems cannot do.)

This is a major advantage having “bespoke” units, as the salon pro can work the room all day with virtually no cost (5p per hour) and capture all the invisible dust in the room that has escaped past the desk top units and also remove all the fumes in the room, guaranteed. (30 day money back guarantee).

If any dust or fumes escape from the Fixed Dual Purpose machines work zone they will be breathed in by every person in the room.

Ravair recommend a dedicated nail dust extractor for each working nail desk as the dust generated can be a lot and a dual purpose unit with the suction of only 100m3 per could struggle to cope, the New Ravair Flexi Nail Dust Extractor has a suction of 300m/3 per hour at 300 mm from the desk.
With a price of around 50-60% less expensive that the Dual Filtration Systems the Ravair Salon Systems are a viable affordable alternative with Independent Lab Proof and Certification. (see website www.ravair.co.uk). The replacement filters are also around a third of the cost.
 

BobSweden

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The main issue for any ventilation or salon air filter system, is that it removes dust and vapours from your working zone - the immediate area where you work and breath. A vapour or dust filter system that is positioned across the room, may reduce the invisible dust that floats in the air and vapours throughout the room, but still leave you still breathing in more than is healthy.

This is the main advantage of a combined 3-stage filter system, in that it concentrates the suction where you breath. It is absolutely correct that choosing the optimum air flow is important - too much and there is a increase in noise and the air is drawn too quickly through the active carbon vapour filter for it to be effective. Too slow an air speed will reduce the size of the working zone and probably fail to catch high velocity dust that is ejected from e-files.

One criteria that I personally think is important is the manufacturers pedigree. In our case we use a system that has been developed by a company that has a long history of manufacturing air filtration systems for industry and is owned by one of the World's leading industrial tool manufacturers.

Yes, the price is higher than some other systems but as we can share the filter system across two tables, the cost per table is then competitively priced. As these units are mobile on wheels, we can move them from the salon to the classroom as we need.

At the end it is also a personal choice. There is enough info here for anyone to make the best decision for themselves.
 

Parris-Emily

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Please get an extraction unit that complies with COSHH/HSE Regulations. Special filters and sufficient airflow is required to properly extract the harmful fumes & dust from your workspace - Have a look on Vodex Ltd website or Instagram. They supply Fume & Dust Extraction to all industries not just the beauty industry - including Rolls Royce, NHS, Mercedes, The Royal Mint, Gillette etc along with many collages and uni's. They also offer affordable monthly payment plans so it's defo worth investing if you can :) xx
 

Noodle

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Please get an extraction unit that complies with COSHH/HSE Regulations. Special filters and sufficient airflow is required to properly extract the harmful fumes & dust from your workspace - Have a look on Vodex Ltd web or Instagram. They supply Fume & Dust Extraction to all industries not just the beauty industry - including Rolls Royce, NHS, Mercedes, The Royal Mint, Gillette etc along with many collages and uni's. They also offer affordable monthly payment plans so it's defo worth investing if you can :) xx
Second post and newly registered, you don’t work for Vodex do you? ;)
 

Parris-Emily

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Second post and newly registered, you don’t wok for Vodex do you? ;)
No I don't - I've purchased a SalonAIR unit from them myself and extremely happy. However, I can see many other companies promoting their own products with specific prices and info anyway if that isn't allowed?
 

Noodle

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No I don't - I've purchased a SalonAIR unit from them myself and extremely happy. However, I can see many other companies promoting their own products with specific prices and info anyway if that isn't allowed?
It’s perfectly fine for you to make recommendations, it’s just that your initial posts have been copied and pasted with URL and social media links that’s all.

Vodex also happen to be located in Southampton. Coincidence?!
 

Beautiful-you

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Here are three good reasons to invest in a professional nail salon extraction system, or a professional 3-stage dust/vapour filter system:

Occupational rhinitis
Occupational rhinitis (OR) may be defined as "an inflammatory condition of the nose, which is characterized by intermittent or persistent symptoms (ie, nasal congestion, sneezing, rhinorrhea, itching) and/or variable nasal airflow limitation and/or hypersecretion, due to causes and conditions attributable to a particular work environment and not to stimuli encountered outside of the workplace". OR is different from work-exacerbated rhinitis (WER), which is pre-existing or concurrent (allergic or nonallergic) rhinitis that is worsened by but not caused by workplace exposures. OR can develop in response to allergens, inhaled irritants, or corrosive gases. OR may have a profound effect on the worker, resulting in performance deficits, reduced productivity, and psychosocial problems. OR often coexists with occupational asthma (OA) and may serve as a predictor for future OA

Occupational asthma
Occupational asthma is asthma that's caused by breathing in chemical fumes, gases, dust or other substances on the job. Occupational asthma can result from exposure to a substance you're sensitive to — causing an allergic or immunological response — or to an irritating toxic substance. Like other types of asthma, occupational asthma can cause chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath. People with allergies or with a family history of allergies are more likely to develop occupational asthma.

Avoidance of occupational triggers is an important part of management. Otherwise, treatment for occupational asthma is similar to treatment for other types of asthma and generally includes taking medications to reduce symptoms. If you already have asthma, sometimes treatment can help it from becoming worse in the workplace.

If it's not correctly diagnosed and you are not protected or able to avoid exposure, occupational asthma can cause permanent lung damage, disability or death.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. This disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness.
COPD is a progressive and (currently) incurable disease, but with the right diagnosis and treatment, there are many things you can do to manage your COPD and breathe better. People can live for many years with COPD and enjoy life.


Extraction Systems
These consist of a hood over the table connected by a pipe to an fan that is outside. This extracts the air from the working area and vents it to the outside. They work in the same way as a fume cupboard we remember from the school chemistry lab. A correctly installed extractor system offers the best protection. The offer higher air flow rates, quiet operation and don't have filters that need replacing. The disadvantages are the installation cost, and that these can't easily be moved i.e. if you want to reorganise the salon layout or move to a new salon.

3-stage dust/vapor filter systems

View attachment 207760
As you can see from this illustration, a 3-stage filter system contains three different filters. The top two filters remove the visible dust and the invisible dust. Visible dust is normally trapped in your nasal passages and not passed into the lungs (unless breathing through the mouth). However, invisible dust that is less than 1 micron in size would be inhaled deep into the lungs.

Invisible dust is especially created by e-files. This dust, like pollution, floats in the air and with every customer the concentration increases - until to thoroughly vent the room by opening all doors and windows. If this dust is under-cured acrylic or gel, you can develop allergies - sometimes on the neck or under the eyes.

The final filter stage is the active carbon filter that neutralises chemical vapours and odours as the air is drawn down through the carbon granules. Because the reaction between the carbon and the chemical vapours is relatively slow, it is very important that the carbon filter is at least 2 inches deep and there is at least 1kg of active carbon. Otherwise not all of the vapours will be neutralised and the dirty air will be passed back into the salon.

Choosing an effective 3-stage filter
Start by asking the vendors if their filter includes an active carbon filter, if this at least 2 inches deep and 1kg of more of carbon granules? This simply question will eliminate 90% of the filters on the market - including all table top filters.

Many low cost nail salon filters don't include an active carbon filter at all, and some do not effectively remove the invisible dust. Others do contain an active carbon filter as one part of a filter replaceable filter cassette. However, often the carbon filter in these cassettes simply consists of a material that has been impregnates with carbon so the filter is very thin, not the 2 inches required.

There are several 3-stage filter manufacturers, who appear to meet the requirements:

If you are located in the USA:
https://aerovexsystems.com

In the UK:
https://www.vodex.co.uk/
http://www.beautylinefilter.co.uk
https://www.salonsuppliesofcrewe.co.uk/.../gvs-1.2-kidney...

If you are located in the USA, see https://aerovexsystems.com

In the UK:
https://www.vodex.co.uk/
http://www.beautylinefilter.co.uk
https://www.salonsuppliesofcrewe.co.uk/.../gvs-1.2-kidney...

Of these, the Beauty Line Filter is the only filter system that is approved in Sweden, where for more than 12 years it is a legal requirement for every nail salon to use an approved 3-stage filter system. However, I suspect that if these other were submitted to the independent laboratory tests, they would also pass.

If other know of other filters that we can add to this list, please let us know. :)
I have been thinking about a dust extractor for a while. I am a beauty Therapist, although I would say I do have more nail clients on the whole. I do hard gel nail extensions and overlays and also gel polish. I don't offer L&P as I don't like the fumes drifting into my treatment room (a separate room), so fumes aren't the issue. Most my regular clients have infills. I remove their gel polish with my e-file, which is what is creating the majority of my dust issues. Although this is my only job, I don't work full time so dont anticipate doing more than 10-12 nail clients max per week. The type of system you mention, although obviously very efficient, is out of my budget unfortunately. Could you recommend a machine that is more affordable to the smaller business? I am looking to reduce dust whilst filing. Are these small dust extractors that sit on the desk under the client's hand as you file worth investing in? Or are they pretty useless?
 

BobSweden

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Unfortunately, I can't. That's because most of these lower cost filter manufacturers, don't specify what grade of filter they are using. Or how effective the unit is to filter the air i.e. is 10% of dust in the air being filtered, or 95%? That is pretty damning for something that is supposed to be safety equipment.

This is why I focused on pro-units - even then many don't state how effective they are, but you can weed out the poor designs by looking at how much active carbon filter they use. Less than 1kg, and for us it is not worth considering.

But the table top filters that on first look seem to be more serious, still cost more than most part-time NT want to pay. Is there anything for less than 400 Pounds? Not that I have found.
 

BobSweden

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It also depends what the objective is. For many it seems reducing visible dust that gets on the clothes is more important than health. So most low cost units would help with that to some degree. If you use a EN 149 rated dust mask from B&Q, this will capture 99.5% of all visible and invisible dust. So that can be an option.
 

BobSweden

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Beautiful-you

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Thank you so much for your replies, you've been very helpful. Please could I ask one more question that I'm a bit confused about? With the 3-stage filter system you refer to, I have understood that it's the top two filters that filter the visible and invisible dust (which is what I'm after) and the 3rd filter is the active carbon filter, which neutralises the vapours and odours, and it's this part of the system that seems to be lacking in cheaper models. So what I want to ask is, if fumes aren't the problem for me as I only use gel, and I also have an opening window and external door leading straight out of the nail room of my salon which can be opened between clients, do I still need this level of filtration? Sorry if I have misunderstood!

In the meantime I think I will certainly invest in the masks you recommend until I make a decision.
 

BobSweden

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Probably not, although if you use hybrid GP there are solvents in those and there is the wiping and sanitising liquid. The problem is to identify a unit with good stage 1 and 2, when the mfrs don't state what actual filters are used. i.e. using the international HEPA standard
 

Ambermist

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The Ravair Nail Dust Extractor has a full Independent Lab Report and LEV Test available to download on their website, www.ravair.co.uk. It confirms without doubt that the unit captures nail dust from a distance of at least 300mm away from the fan face and at a rate of 2.5m/s. The airflow rate given as a minimum in HSE Coshh SR 13 is 0.5m/s so the Ravair is 5 times more powerful, and is fully certificated, than required by Health and Safety Recommendations. It also has a filter that is triple action with dust foam pad for larger particles, 20mm glass fibre HEPA and activated carbon for help with fumes. The filter is fully tested to EU standard EN 1822-1 which captures dust, pollen, pet dander etc as well as invisible nail dust to 0.3 microns and above. (below 0.7 microns is invisible to the human eye). The carbon content in the filter is not enough to remove fumes such as those from acrylic nail products but will certainly help and is better than nothing. A stand alone Fume Extractor would be recommended for these fumes. The price is also well below 50% less expensive than the £400 mentioned in a previous post.
 

Ambermist

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The following statement is taken from the front page of HSE Coshh SR 13 the guide document to help Nail Bars and Salons comply with the legal requirements in The control of substances hazardous to health regulations act 2002, as amended, to control exposure and protect workers health.

"Provide an extractor hood or a downdraught table. See illustrations: ■ you need a downdraught around 1 metre per second into the table; or ■ you need an inlet air speed around 0.5 metres per second into the extractor hood. ✓ The client’s nails must be over the downdraught or close to the hood. ✓ Filter air for return to the salon or for discharge outside. Caution: ‘dust masks’ are not acceptable as a control.

The "pro systems" mentioned in other posts have a rate of "downdraught" of 100m3 per hour according to their own specification sheets that can be downloaded from their website. (below)

"Technical data Height, mm 440 Width, mm 420 Depth, mm 200 Weight, kg 8 Suction capacity, m3/h 100"

This rate of airflow does not, anywhere near, meet the required minimum of 1 metre per second for downdraught suction, and is not even a fraction of the required airflow suction of an overhead unit of 0.5 metres per second. "Pro systems" that do not comply with HSE Coshh SR 13, and are very expensive, would be considered unsuitable regardless of the "manufacturing pedigree".
 

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