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Your Environment. Your Health.

Environmental Health in the Nail Salon

Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH)

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Environmental Health in the Nail Salon

August 16, 2013

Expert: Thu Quach, Ph.D.

As summer heats up, so does business in the nation’s nail salons. But workers in the booming nail care industry—and their customers—may be exposed to compounds that have been linked with cancer, lung irritation, and reproductive health problems. In this podcast, we discuss the latest research on environmental exposures in the nail salon.


Thu Quach, Ph.D.

Thu Quach, Ph.D. is a research scientist at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California. Her research focuses on the environmental and occupational risk factors for cancer, as well as health disparities in immigrant populations. She has a strong commitment to community-based participatory research, and has worked with different advocacy, environmental and community-based organizations to leverage public health goals that promote the health and well-being of under-served populations.

For More Information

Reducing Chemical Exposures in Nail Salons Using an Owner-to-Worker Intervention
Explore the research goals and approaches of this feasibility study led by Dr. Thu Quach. Find an overview of the ongoing study by Dr. Quach in this newsletter article .

Reproductive Health Impacts in Nail and Hair Care Workers
Read an overview of this NIEHS-funded preliminary study.

Breast Cancer Risks in California Nail Salon Workers
Learn what researchers are doing to investigate possible cancer-related risks faced by nail salon workers.

California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative
Learn about outreach programs and research geared toward improving the health and safety of nail and beauty care workers in California.

The Vietnamese Community Health Promotion Project
Find educational materials and ongoing projects from this community-academic research partnership.  

Additional Publications

Alaves VM, Sleeth DK, Thiese MS, Larson RR. Characterization of indoor air contaminants in a randomly selected set of commercial nail salons in Salt Lake County, Utah, USA. Int J Environ Health Res. 2013 Jan 4. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23286453. [Abstract]

Quach T, Varshavsky J, Von Behren J, Garcia E, Tong M, Nguyen T, Tran A, Gunier R, Reynolds P. Reducing Chemical Exposures in Nail Salons through Owner and Worker Trainings: An Exploratory Intervention Study. Am J Ind Med. 2013 Jul;56(7):806-17. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22146. Epub 2012 Dec 19. PubMed PMID: 23255315. [Abstract]

Quach T, Liou J, Fu L, Mendiratta A, Tong M, Reynolds P. Developing a proactive research agenda to advance nail salon worker health, safety, and rights. Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2012 Spring;6(1):75-82. doi: 10.1353/cpr.2012.0005. PubMed PMID: 22643791. [Abstract]

Thomas E, Johnson C. Intra-oral formication induced by occupational exposure mimicking inhalation abuse. Tex Dent J. 2012 Jan;129(1):35-40. PubMed PMID: 22432233. [Abstract]

Quach T, Gunier R, Tran A, Von Behren J, Doan-Billings PA, Nguyen KD, Okahara L, Lui BY, Nguyen M, Huynh J, Reynolds P. Characterizing workplace exposures in Vietnamese women working in California nail salons. Am J Public Health. 2011 Dec;101 Suppl 1:S271-6. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300099. Epub 2011 May 6. PubMed PMID: 21551383. [Abstract]

Quach T, Nguyen KD, Doan-Billings PA, Okahara L, Fan C, Reynolds P. A preliminary survey of Vietnamese nail salon workers in Alameda County, California. J Community Health. 2008 Oct;33(5):336-43. doi: 10.1007/s10900-008-9107-7. PubMed PMID: 18478317. [Abstract]

Roelofs C, Azaroff LS, Holcroft C, Nguyen H, Doan T. Results from a community-based occupational health survey of Vietnamese-American nail salon workers. J Immigr Minor Health. 2008 Aug;10(4):353-61. PubMed PMID: 17940905. [Abstract]

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