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Bringing Own Nail Tools to Salon Is Best Way to Prevent Infection
BEVERLY HILLS, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 09/20/2005 -- Thanks in part to the urging of Paula Abdul, who recently testified before a state Senate committee, state officials may begin to require salons to post previous health citations in their publicly viewed windows. Abdul took this issue on after contracting a staph infection from an upscale nail salon last year. She is one of millions who have been infected at salons, many of which are in gross violation of health and safety codes.
"These legislations are being considered to improve nail salon health codes, but people must also take their safety into their own hands by bringing a personal set of salon-quality nail implements to each appointment," explained Dr. Carolyn Siegal, a podiatrist in Beverly Hills and creator of Dr. Siegal's Savvy Nail Kits.
The lack of proper sterilization of nail tools between clients at salons is one of the primary methods of spreading diseases, such as plantar warts, bacterial infections and nail fungus. By bringing your own set of tools to each nail appointment, you dramatically reduce your risk of contracting an infection since the tools are not shared with other salon patrons. Siegal created a fun and effective method to protect yourself with her line of stylish nail kits designed to carry with you to the salon.
Although it may be comforting when you see your salon using the small machine that exposes the nail tools to ultraviolet light, do not be so sure that this is going to ensure your safety. These machines are not approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for use in hospital operating rooms, surgery centers, or medical offices. There is no proof that the ultraviolet light used in these machines will fully destroy each of the dangerous organisms that present a risk in the nail salon. "Would you want to be operated on with surgical instruments cleaned in this 'toaster oven?' In addition, does your salon keep their implements in this 'oven' for 20 to 45 minutes as regulated by the manufacturer? Or, do they just toss them in and out in order to be prepared for the long line of waiting customers on a busy Saturday morning?" asks Siegal. The most effective method to protect yourself is to ensure that the only tools used on your fingers and toes have never been used on any one else.
Even if the new legislation is passed, there will still not be enough man power to enforce that each and every salon adheres to the new health codes. Ultimately, it is up to each consumer to keep themselves free of disease transmission. Thirty-six million people are estimated to have nail fungus in the United States; however, only 2.5 million are being treated with oral medications. This leaves over 33 million people with toe nail fungus who can potentially spread this unsightly disease to fellow nail salon consumers. The organism that causes thick yellow nails thrives in warm, damp locations such as the salon's pedicure tub. The oral medications used to treat this problem require three months of therapy with strict monitoring of the liver. "Make sure to always use a seamless disposable tub liner on the portable pedicure tubs in order to put a barrier between your feet and the disease-laden walls of the tub," Siegal advised. "Prevention is always your safest bet when entering a salon, so always make sure you take your kit, regardless of how clean a salon looks."
Re: Podiatric Surgeon Urges Consumers to Protect Themselves & Support Nail Salon Legislation
Opinion piece from the Sun Sentinel: Public health, safety at stake in vetoed bill that would have regulated nail technicians
Gov. Charlie Christ recently vetoed a cosmetology bill, CS/HB415, for the second time in two years. This in spite of the fact that it passed both chambers with little, if any, opposition. He gave as a reason that it was too "regulatory," and it prevented (untrained) people from gaining employment in the nail technician industry.
I am a retired podiatrist currently licensed to practice in New York state. I have treated many skin and bone infections as a result of invasive procedures induced by untrained nail technicians. All of these infections were preventable with proper training, sterile instrumentation and proper technique. Recently, I participated in an investigative report done by Ms. Shannon Cake of WPTV in West Palm Beach. I also consulted in the studio with a victim of a nail technician from a local salon who had a finger amputation, as well as state Sen. Dave Aronberg, Ms. Cake, state Sen. Stephen Wise who filed the Senate bill and Ms. Susan Lehr who helped write the Senate bill.
There are many other documentable cases of injuries and infections, too numerous to mention. At present, nail technicians only require a registration to work on the public without a standard examination to determine the extent of learning. Florida state laws have not been updated for 23 years. Today, 46 states require more training than Florida.
The health and safety of Floridians must not be compromised by a political decision.
The only way to update the law (after two vetoes) is for the governor to request the Legislature to reintroduce a new law during the 2009 session. Hopefully, in a new political climate we will get new legislation designed to protect the public.