243660 Policy and Research Strategies for Building a Healthy Community for Nail Salon Workers

Monday, October 31, 2011: 5:10 PM

Julia Liou, MPH , Program Planning and Development Director, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Lisa Fu, MPH , California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Los Angeles, CA
Catherine Porter, JD , California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Oakland, CA
Anuja Mendiratta, MES , California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Berkeley, CA
Duyen Tran , Asian Health Services, California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Oakland, CA
Nail salon and cosmetology workers, who are predominantly Vietnamese immigrants, experience an elevated prevalence of acute health effects, such as headaches, respiratory illnesses, musculoskeletal disorders, and skin problems, compared to the general population. Concerns related to cancer and reproductive impacts have burgeoned given the chronic, long-term exposure of these workers to toxic chemicals present in the products they handle on a daily basis. To establish a healthy workplace community that promotes the well-being of nail salon workers, the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative implemented a two-prong statewide strategy: 1) A local policy campaign in Northern California to reduce the use of three carcinogenic and reproductively harmful chemicals in nail salons--formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate. The campaign led to the passage of a groundbreaking ordinance in San Francisco that provides city recognition to nail salons that utilize safer products. 2) A community-based needs assessment with nearly 100 workers in Southern California to serve as an important base building tool that has not only builds greater awareness among the nail salon community about healthier workplace practices and products, but also builds linkages with important community allies. Both strategies have empowered the nail salon community to learn about and advocate for solutions that positively impact their health and built a foundation by which workers can advocate for systematic changes. This session will describe how these strategies have addressed the root causes of the health impacts experienced by nail salon workers and assured the right of these workers to a healthy workplace community.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the process for developing and implementing a policy strategy and campaign with public health, community based, and governmental partners. 2) Identify at least three factors germane to implementing a research strategy that builds the capacity of organizations and the community to organize around key issues identified by the research process. 3) Articulate the successes and challenges of implementing policy and research strategies to ensure the empowerment of limited English speaking immigrant workers to advocate for solutions that positively impact their health.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Occupational Exposure

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working with staff and other collaborative partners in implementing the strategies discussed in the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.