Whether customers seek no-chip manicures or a relaxing foot massage, nail and beauty technicians need barrier protection to guard themselves against harsh chemicals and pathogens. This presents a large sales opportunity for distributors of disposable gloves and masks.
Not only are salon owners looking out for the safety of their employees, but they are also liable to regulations from the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). These best practices and rules are in place for a good reason.
The chemicals used by technicians include acetone, toluene, methyl ethyl ketone and isopropyl acetate. Prolonged exposure to these substances via skin contact or breathing in the vapors leads to symptoms such as:
- Skin, eye, mouth and nose irritation
- Harm to fetuses of pregnant technicians
- Difficulties concentrating
- Coughing fits and asthma attacks
- Kidney and liver damage
With regard to biological risks, employees need protection against bloodborne pathogens.
To address these risks, salon owners should purchase a few types of barrier protection:
Several glove materials are fitting for the safety risks present in salons. Latex gloves, such as the LX3 and Gloveworks Industrial Latex, are suitable for guarding against chemicals and pathogens.
However, because of the growing prevalence of latex allergies, the industry is trending toward non-latex gloves, such as nitrile and vinyl. Though nitrile gloves, such as the X3, X3D, and AMMEX Indigo Nitrile Exam Gloves, are not recommended for use with acetone, technicians are able to use these gloves because they have limited exposure to the chemical. Stretch synthetic vinyl gloves are also suitable. With these alternatives, neither workers or customers are exposed to latex.
Not all masks provide equal results in nail and beauty salons. Many salons use ear loop face masks (ELFMs), which also protect customers from what workers exhale.
N95-rated masks are filtering face pieces. These products, such as the N95 face mask, are useful for nail buffing and applying acrylic powders because they filter out germs and dusts. To fully realize this protection, workers must have properly fitted masks. They will find proper fitting information on the mask packaging.
Reaching the wide open market
With the aforementioned information in mind, it’s not hard to see why the more than 375,000 nail technicians in the U.S. need barrier protection.