When your clients discover they’re pregnant, one of the first questions they will ask nail professionals is, “Can I keep wearing my nail enhancements during my pregnancy?” The answer is YES; they can safely wear artificial nails! There is no reason to believe wearing artificial nail enhancements or polish during pregnancy is harmful. All artificial nail coatings polymerize and harden within three minutes. This eliminates the chance of any product penetrating beyond the very topmost layers of the nail plate. The ingredients used to make nail coatings are used widely around the world in thousands of different applications and are among the most widely studied ingredients in the world. The ingredients are NOT considered to create risks during pregnancy.
What about pregnant nail technicians? Is it safe for them to work in a salon? Of course they can! Pregnant nail technicians that aren’t already working safely will need to make changes in their work routines and pay close attention to the rules of working safely, but this is true regardless of your occupation. A well-informed physician will usually advise mothers-to-be to avoid alcohol and tobacco, as studies indicate these may cause abnormal fetal development. Fortunately, scientific studies indicate there are no such risks with artificial nail products. To put things in their proper perspective; smoking is many thousands of times more dangerous than any nail salon service.
Here are ten tips that can help you work more safely:
1. Use products properly, always precisely follow directions and heed all warnings.
2. Properly dispose of trash; use a trash can with a self-closing lid and empty it often throughout the day.
3. Avoid skin contact with UV curing gels, monomer liquids, adhesives (glues), resins and primers, etc.
4. Wearing disposable nitrile gloves is one great way to minimize the potential for skin contact.
5. Wash hands often; always before servicing any client, eating or touching the face.
6. Keep products tightly closed and use covers on dampen dishes to minimize evaporation.
7. Wear a well-fitted dust mask, preferable one rated as N-95 or equivalent, especially if you use an electric file. Drill oils should also be used to control dusts. Avoid doctor or surgical masks since they aren’t designed for use with dusts.
8. Make sure your salon ventilation system is working properly, has been recently cleaned and is supplying an adequate amount of fresh air. Contact a local HVAC company for guidance. Use a “source capture” ventilation system to improve air quality if the salon ventilation is not adequate.
9. Obtain the MSDS for all of your products and review them with your doctor.
10. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any work-related symptoms, e.g. weakness, light-headedness or difficulty breathing etc.
You can find more recommendations for improving work place safety by reading the Nail Manufacturers Council on Safety (NMC) brochures, found at the link below. Working safely is easy to do, so pay attention to these recommendations even if you aren’t planning on becoming pregnant. Working safely is the responsibility of every salon professional!