You should have the freedom to enjoy your pregnancy. Adding a new member to your family comes with a multitude of emotions, and most of them should make you feel hopeful and positive about the experience.
When you work in an industry that potentially puts your health at risk, it may make you a bit more pensive than if you worked in another profession. For instance, if you work in a nail salon, you need to take extra precautions during your pregnancy in order to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals.
Understanding the risks
Even if you have worked in a nail salon for some time, now that you are pregnant, you may begin paying more attention to the risks you face. For instance, you are now more keenly aware of the dust, viruses, chemicals and bacteria in the salon. The potential hazards are everywhere, and working with the following could increase the risk of harm to you and your baby:
- Plasticizers made with camphor, dibutyl phthalate and triphenyl phosphate
- Solvents made with butyl acetate, acetone, ethyl acetate, acetonitrile and toluene
- Polymers made with tosylamide/formaldehyde resin and nitrocellulose
- Chemicals used for artificial nails such as methacrylate or cyanoacrylate used in adhesives
- Chemicals used to prepare the nail bed such as methacrylic acid
- Some products may release formaldehyde gas
- Disinfectants used to clean soaking tubs and equipment
As you can see, no shortage of toxic chemicals exists in a nail salon. If you only look for strong chemical smells, you could miss important health threats. Not all of the smells in a nail salon contain harmful fumes. Moreover, you need to watch out for more than just the fumes. Yes, vapors and fumes could cause you and your baby harm, but you could suffer exposure through direct contact on your skin. If you eat food or touch your mouth after exposure to chemicals, you could ingest them as well.
The sober fact of the matter is that you could miscarry due to high exposure to chemicals in your line of work. The chances of birth defects may be low, but your baby could experience other complications, and so could you. The key is to make sure the salon has adequate ventilation and that you use the proper protective equipment. If your employer fails to provide you with a safe work environment, you may have legal recourse if something goes wrong with your pregnancy and/or your baby.