Death knell for ‘toxic trio’ in nail salons

The City is putting pressure on San Francisco’s 200 nail salons to discontinue use of products containing three toxins to protect the industry’s estimated 1,800 workers, along with customers.

The Board of Supervisors approved in an 11-0 vote Tuesday legislation that publically recognizes those nail salons who voluntarily discontinue using products containing toxic chemicals.

Known as the “toxic trio,” toluene, dibutyl phthalate or formaldehyde found in nail products can be harmful to pregnant women, and cause headaches, nausea and asthma.

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, who introduced the legislation, says there are products free of the toxins that are similar in cost and of an equal quality. The law requires the Department of the Environment to create a Healthy Nail Salon Recognition program that would inform the public about nail salons that use toxin-free products. The impact of the law on ridding these business of toxins will be reported to the board in two years.

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