262631 A Feasibility Intervention Study to Reduce Chemical Exposures in Nail Salons

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thu Quach, PhD, MPH , Research, Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Berkeley, CA
Julia Varshavsky , Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Berkeley, CA
Julie Von Behren, MPH , Research, Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Berkeley, CA
My Tong, MPH , Research, Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Berkeley, CA
Tuan Nguyen, CSP, CIH, ARM , Safety and Health Services, State Compensation Insurance Fund, Santa Ana, CA
Alisha Tran , Health Education, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Peggy Reynolds, PhD , Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Berkeley, CA
Background: Nail salon workers routinely handle cosmetic products that contain many hazardous compounds including carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and respiratory irritants. In California, there are approximately 114,000 nail technicians; primarily Vietnamese immigrants. Yet, there is limited accessible information on safety precautions and guidelines that salon workers and owners can take to minimize chemical exposures. Methods: We conducted a pilot single-arm culturally-appropriate intervention to promote ways for reducing workplace exposures (e.g. safer alternatives, ventilation, product handling and storage, and protective equipment). We trained 8 Vietnamese owners from different nail salons in San Francisco Bay Area, who then trained their Vietnamese workers (n=24). Each worker contributed pre-and post-intervention measurements (administered survey and personal air monitors 3M OVM 3500). We examined changes in worker knowledge, behavior and work-related health symptoms, as well as measured levels of three volatile compounds. Results: Workers showed statistically significant improvements in knowledge around harmful chemicals (+50% mean change); increases in safety practices (wearing gloves: +42.8% mean change, wearing N95 masks: +51.1% mean change); and decreases in nose, throat and skin irritation (-23.3% mean change). We found salon-level decreases in methyl methacrylate (-37% mean change) and total volatile organic compounds (-10% mean change), but an increase in toluene (+58% mean change), although none were statistically significant. Conclusions: Culturally-appropriate worker health and safety education that is disseminated through salon owners to their workers can improve worker knowledge, behavior, specific occupational-related health symptoms, and workplace exposures for selected air contaminants. Future research is needed to examine the effectiveness of this owner-to-worker approach.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the sociodemographic profile of the burgeoning nail salon workforce and some of the occupational health and safety issues that nail salon workers face, including chemical exposures. 2. Identify effective, practical and culturally-appropriate strategies for educating nail salon owners and workers on ways to reduce chemical exposures in the workplace. 3. Discuss the feasibility for conducting a randomized controlled study with an immigrant workforce to promote culturally-appropriate ways for reducing workplace chemical exposures.

Keywords: Immigrant Women, Occupational Exposure

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator for the study and have had multiple publications on resesarch focused on the nail salon workforce and their workplace exposures.
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.