NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
NIOSH studies EMA.
Spencer AB; Estill CF; McCammon JB; Johnston OE
Nails 1997 Nov; :50-54
Occupational health issues related to the use of ethyl-methacrylate (97632) (EMA) in artificial nail products were reviewed. Evidence indicated that EMA may be potentially harmful to nail technicians during the application of artificial fingernails. Methods to reduce EMA exposures included using manicure tables with charcoal filters, spreading towels on manicure tables to collect dust, using general room air purifying systems, and moving air into general heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems through the use of room fans. Although these methods at least partially reduced exposures, all were associated with problems and were thus not reliable methods for improving workplace health. Charcoal filters were often ineffective because of insufficient filter replacement and humidity. The life of charcoal filters was related to the number of technicians manicuring nails daily, the number of nails manicured daily, and the duration the filter was used. NIOSH measured the amount of EMA in the breathing zone of nail technicians using a vented manicure table with vacuum suction or a nonvented manicure table without vacuum suction. NIOSH modified the original design of the vented manicure table to improve the ventilation capacity. A large fan was installed to increase air flow, the area between the table surface and the fan was enlarged to increase air movement across the table, the vacuum surface was placed closer to the client's hands to increase capture efficiency, and contaminated air was exhausted outside of the building rather than filtering it through the charcoal filter. EMA exposures were significantly lower with the NIOSH modified vented table than with the nonvented table. The authors conclude that hazardous exposures in the nail salon can be reduced through modified work practices, the selection of appropriate artificial nail materials, and the proper use of ventilated manicure tables.
Cosmetics-industry; Cosmetics-workers; Health-hazards; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-levels; Cosmetics; Ventilation-systems; Ventilation-equipment; Equipment-design; Air-flow; Air-treatment-equipment; Breathing-zone; Air-filters; Air-quality
Page last reviewed: October 26, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division