ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a new set of ventilation standards this week to protect New York’s nail salon workers and patrons from the chemicals, vapors and fumes that can contaminate salon air.
The regulations, which will require an exhaust so the fumes go outdoors, is the latest step by the state to address concerns about dangerous chemicals at the salons.
“This is an industry where workers have long been prone to exploitation and unsafe working conditions, and these regulations are the latest step this administration has taken to right these wrongs and help ensure employees across New York are treated fairly and with dignity," Cuomo said in a statement.
Under the changes, New York nail salons must have ventilation systems that meet the standards set by the 2015 International Mechanical Code for nail and hair salons.
The guidelines require enough fresh outdoor air to be supplied to the salons so that all air contaminants are removed and exhausted outdoors.
Additionally, all manicure and pedicure workstations are required to have specific exhaust systems.
According to a state state Department of Health report in July, the chemicals found in nail products can result in potential health effects ranging from headaches, dizziness and skin irritation to skin sensitization, cancer and negative effects on the reproductive and immune systems.
Unions supported the new regulations.
"The ventilation regulations are an important piece of the puzzle for ensuring healthy salons,” Julie Kelly, international vice-president of Workers United’s New York New Jersey Regional Joint Board, said in a statement.
Salons that were licensed before Oct. 3 this year have an additional five years to comply with the new regulations.
So by Oct. 3, 2021, all salons will be mandated to meet the guidelines.
The regulations can be found here: http://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/appearance/ventingreg.html