Senate Dems Demand OSHA Investigate Nail Salons

Senate Democrats Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Charles Schumer (N.Y.) are calling on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to investigate dangerous working conditions at nail salons in their states following a report in The New York Times earlier this month.

According to the Times, the majority of manicurists suffer serious health issues from prolonged exposure to the chemicals used in nail and beauty products, including having babies with low birth weights, miscarriages and cancer.

In a letter to Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels, Blumenthal and Schumer demanded OSHA update its standards for chemical, ergonomic and biological hazards, including specific permissible exposure limits, or PELs, for the toxic trio of chemicals commonly found in nail polish ­— formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate.

The senators said OSHA has not updated PELs since they were created in the 1970s and even then some were based on outdated and possibly flawed science.