Nail Salons

In 2007, the California Health Nail Salon Collaborative, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and Women’s Voices for the Earth established the National Healthy Nail Salon Alliance (NHNSA).  NHNSA was created to connect activists and organizations dedicated to improving nail salon worker health and safety, and develop a strategy for promoting research, oversight and regulation of the cosmetic industry. NHNSA maintains this webpage to serve as a “one stop shop” for important information and resources about toxic chemicals in nail products and worker health issues.

nail salons
Brief Overview

Nail products like nail polish, polish removers and artificial nail products contain a host of toxic chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer, reproductive harm, occupational asthma and other negative health effects.  Nail salon workers are particularly at risk for exposure, as they work with these products all day every day, often in poorly ventilated spaces.  The good news is that certain nail polish manufacturers are beginning to reformulate their products to remove some of the toxic chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene.  Nail salon workers can also take steps to lessen their exposure to chemicals from nail care products.

What You Can Do:

  • Learn more about chemicals in nail products by reading the fact sheets and reports listed below. You may want to avoid nail products if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Talk with your manicurist. Let them know there are resources available to better inform them of the risks they face.
  • Find out what’s in the nail polish or other products you use. You can look them up on the Skin Deep database available at:
  • Call the manufacturer of your favorite nail polish, tell them you are concerned about chemical exposure and ask them to reformulate their products!



The National Healthy Nail Salon Alliance advocates for the improvement of nail salon worker health and safety.