New York is a city big on style, so it’s no surprise that we have our fair share of nail salons, day spas, and beauty boutiques. In fact, statewide, New York nail salons service millions of customers annually, made possible by the thousands of talented cosmetologists and nail technicians working across The Empire State.
But for all the glitz, glamour, relaxation, and refinement we associate with New York nail salons, there is also a persistent and serious danger in them: the threat of occupational chemical exposure.
Nail technicians are commonly exposed to dozens of dangerous chemicals for hours on end, day after day. While most of these substances are considered safe for occasional customer use, they are not intended for the kind of continuous exposure that salon professionals face.
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we have a keen understanding of just how real these dangers are. As New York City toxic exposure attorneys, we’ve helped countless workers who’ve suffered illness or injury as a result of chemical dangers.
One of the chief challenges in addressing this problem is raising awareness before it’s too late. Technicians, through no fault of their own, may not be fully informed about the risks of chemical exposure in nail salons. Employers or manufacturers may have told them that the chemicals used in a given salon are entirely safe, but that is rarely the case.
Even chemicals that have been officially approved as safe and “toxic free” can be harmful to a nail technician’s health when used in combination or on a regular basis.
If you have suffered illness or injury as a result of chemical exposure in nail salons, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation under personal injury law and/or Workers’ Compensation.
This may be true even if you believe you are an “independent contractor” rather than an employee. The New York City toxic exposure attorneys in our office can help you understand the true nature of your services, the likely value of your damages, and your unequivocal rights under the law.
No one deserves to face sickness, impairment, or burdensome medical expenses because they were poisoned in the course of helping others feel good about themselves. Nail technicians and stylists provide an essential service in New York, and they absolutely deserve to be fought for, defended, and protected. We’ll do our part by ensuring that they’re treated fairly under the law.
Dangerous Chemicals Commonly Found in New York Nail Salons
The following chemicals are known to cause short-term and/or long-term health effects in people facing ongoing exposure:
- Butyl acetate
- Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
- Ethyl acetate
- Ethyl methacrylate (EMA)
- Isopropyl acetate
- Methacrylic acid
- Methyl methacrylate (MMA)
- Quaternary ammonium compounds
These are chemicals found in everyday products like acrylics, nail polish, nail polish removers, nail glues, primers, solvents, hardeners, lacquers, biocides, fungicides, and other disinfectants.
While today’s salons are encouraged to use products that do not contain these ingredients (especially formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate, better known as the “toxic trio”), many unfortunately still do. Moreover, products are often mislabeled or have even been known to intentionally disguise their ingredients.
Please also keep in mind that even in low doses, the combination of more than one chemical can produce exacerbated health effects, potentially even fatalities.
For more information, see the official safety warnings issues by OSHA and the EPA.
Liability for Chemical Exposure in Nail Salons
Employers in New York have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees. In many cases, that includes nail technicians working at spas, boutiques, and salons. There are many steps these businesses can take to reduce the risk of harm, ranging from product selection and ventilation to scheduling breaks and instituting safety policies and procedures.
Even outside the context of Workers’ Compensation, those affected by cosmetic chemicals may have a claim for financial relief under New York personal injury law or products liability. Just like the makers of tools, toys, or medicine, the companies that create cosmetic products have a duty to provide safe and well-labeled products to both professionals and the public.
If you have suffered illness or expense as a result of chemical exposure in nail salons — or if a loved one has died and these chemicals played a role — the New York City toxic exposure attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC can help.
We work hard for our clients, we take their claims seriously, and we do everything in our power to aggressively pursue the maximum compensation available to them under the law.
Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your options. Our services are available to residents living anywhere in the state of New York. Call us today.
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan has focused his career on advancing his legal knowledge though the day to day practice of law. Jared is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Lawyers PC in Syosset, New York and has been a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. His career started in litigation, so Jared is aware of the pitfalls in litigation and uses that knowledge in the representation of his clients in complex matters. [ Attorney Bio ]