When you think of toxic exposure, you may think of heavy chemicals in industrial settings, not in a neighborhood nail salon. However, Atlanta residents who work in nail salons may be aware of the chemicals they use but may not quite understand the potential harm they present.
The health risks are quite real, and individuals have suffered significant health repercussions due to those chemicals. For this reason alone, knowledge, training and appropriate safety equipment are vital. Your exposure to toxic chemicals can compound day to day. The longer you work in the environment with those chemicals, the more the exposure builds up in your system, so you may not notice any ill effects right away.
The chemicals you may work with and around every day
Below is a sampling of the chemicals you probably work around and with every day you are at work:
- Toluene, which is in fingernail glue and nail polish
- Formaldehyde, which is in nail hardener and nail polish
- Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which is in nail polish
- Acetone, which is in nail polish remover
- Isopropyl acetate, which is in nail polish remover and nail polish
- Methacrylic acid, which is a nail primer
- Ethyl methacrylate, which is an artificial nail liquid
- Acetonitrile, which is fingernail glue remover
- Quaternary ammonium compounds, which are disinfectants
Your salon may also use other chemicals as well. Each of the chemicals above come with a laundry list of potential health issues, including asthma, skin irritation, headaches, irritated eyes and more. Some of them can cause cancer and harm your unborn child if you are pregnant.
Your employer should take steps to protect you from exposure to these harmful chemicals, but even then, those measures may not be enough. For this reason, you should not dismiss any physical symptoms you experience since they could relate to chemical exposure.
What happens now?
You may want to seek medical attention for your symptoms. It will help to tell the doctor that you work in a nail salon around certain chemicals. This may help them reach the correct diagnosis and treatment the first time in order to reduce your recovery time. If it turns out the doctor agrees that your health issues are related to toxic exposure at your workplace, your life could become even more complicated.
You will need to take the appropriate steps to pursue assistance with the payment of your medical expenses, your lost wages and more. Your chances of getting what you need as quickly and efficiently as possible could increase by working with an attorney.