Some nail technicians in California are breathing easier, thanks to a project dedicated to clearing the air in popular “mani-pedi” salons.

The California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative is working to offer incentives for owners who provide protections from toxic chemicals that tend to hover over acrylics and polish removers.

So far 55 salons have joined up.

Owners are recognized by the group with awards if they do things like install a ventilator and require techs to wear gloves and coats.asthma-CC- Kathryn Doran-thumbs-up

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Lan Anh “Leann” Truong, owns a spa in Alameda, California. She was one of the first to join the collaborative.

“Before, we do the acrylic nails, artificial nails, we don’t have a machine like this,” she told PRI.

Now she has a big, black ventilator which clashes with her serene décor. But she doesn’t care about that.

The machine vacuums up the harmful particles that can get into people’s lungs. She sometimes even uses lemons, instead of hazardous liquids, to clean customers’ nails.

The California collaborative provides training and education for salon owners who want to keep employees from developing throat, nose or eye problems.

This month the US Environmental Protection Agency also got on board, committing to help implement some of the group’s practices.

You can see the EPA guidelines for nail salons, here.

(LISTEN to the story or READ more at at PRI) – Photo: Robert Batina, CC

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