manicures_pedicures_img.jpgHave you ever walked into a nail salon and wondered about the chemical smell of gasoline mixed with industrial solvents?

You might be smelling the standard ingredients of most nail polishes used in salons or sold in drugstores. Take a look at your own nail polish bottles, do they have dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene as listed ingredients? The Asian Law Caucus warns that this toxic trio has been associated with “cancer, birth defects, asthma and other chronic diseases.” And, according to them, it’s bad enough having that sort of cocktail painted onto our nails, but imagine the cumulative effects that nail salon workers must suffer from being exposed to these chemicals everyday.

In conjunction with such advocacy groups as the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Environment California, the Law Caucus is working to raise awareness of the toxic chemicals commonly found in most nail polishes. On Tuesday, July 20th nail technicians at the International School of Cosmetology (1224 Polk Street) will offer complimentary “green” manicures beginning at 12 p.m. At 12:30, according to the press release sent to the Appeal, “Nail salon workers and other advocates then will walk to City Hall where Sup. Chiu will introduce an ordinance to the Board of Supervisors creating a Nail Salon Recognition Program that will encourage local salons to replace nail polish containing toxic chemicals with safer alternatives.”

There are approximately 200 licensed nail salons in San Francisco, and the proposed ordinance would be a “a groundbreaking first step towards addressing worker health,” says Julia Liou from the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative.

What: Free “green” manicures
When: 12 noon Tuesday, July 20
Where: International School of Cosmetology, 1224 Polk Street

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