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In-depth survey report: an evaluation of local exhaust ventilation systems for controlling hazardous exposures in nail salons.

Marlow DA; Looney T; Reutman S
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, EPHB 005-164, 2012 Sep; :1-27
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a laboratory research project to evaluate the effectiveness of local exhaust ventilation controls for preventing worker exposure to chemicals in nail salons. Nail salon employees are potentially exposed to dozens of hazardous chemicals including acrylates, solvents, and biocides in the form of dusts or vapors. Exposure to these chemicals on the job have been examined by a small but growing number of studies that have found possible links between nail technicians' work and adverse health outcomes including respiratory, neurological, and musculoskeletal disorders, as well as other health conditions including cancer. NIOSH asked prototype designers, commercial manufacturers, and vendors of downdraft ventilated nail tables (VNT) and portable nail salon source capture ventilation systems (SCV) that featured local exhaust recirculation to provide new, unused, downdraft units to be evaluated in this project. The NIOSH research project included an evaluation of airflow and capture characteristics of the units as well as noise levels around them. Three different exhaust systems and four different collecting hoods were provided to NIOSH for this study. To quantitatively evaluate the capture efficiency of the ventilation system, a tracer gas method was used. Results of the tracer gas capture efficiency measurements for the various configurations showed the potential to reduce exposures by at least 50% - 60%. Exhaust system 2 (the silver shop vacuum) was the most efficient at removing potentially harmful chemicals during these tests. Results from the sound level readings also revealed that system 2 was the loudest of the three. Additional testing could be conducted to determine configurations that would improve collection efficiency. Practical testing in salons is necessary to determine if this arrangement would be accepted by nail technicians. From the results of this research as well as stated industry needs, the following recommendations are made: 1) Conduct additional studies with the nail table and exhaust hoods to determine optimum flow rates for increased capture efficiencies; 2) Provide training to nail salon operators and employees about the importance of using engineering controls for processes that involve potentially hazardous chemicals; 3) Investigate the requirements for salon ventilation to determine if current recommendations are adequate or if higher flows are more protective; 4) Conduct CFD simulations of the various ventilation system and hood configurations to determine which provide the most protection for the worker; 5) Conduct research on the filtration used in the ventilation units; and 6) Produce this information in easy to understand documents that will be made available to nail salon owners and workers.
Cosmetics-industry; Cosmetics-workers; Cosmetics; Ventilation; Ventilation-equipment; Ventilation-systems; Emission-sources; Exhaust-systems; Exhaust-ventilation; Laboratory-testing; Chemical-processing; Employee-exposure; Control-technology; Hazardous-materials; Health-hazards; Vapors; Acrylates; Solvent-vapors; Solvents; Biocides; Dusts; Vapor-recovery-systems; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Air-flow; Noise-levels; Noise-measurement; Exhaust-hoods; Ventilation-hoods; Training; Engineering-controls; Region-5; Filtration; Simulation-methods; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Control Technology
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
EPHB-005-164; B10242012
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division