The Toxic Truth About Nail Salons

If you’ve ever stepped into a nail salon, you know the smell of a chemical cocktail that hits you like an invisible wall. While consumers may tolerate it during a short visit, the nail salon workers find themselves stewing in a toxic bubble for years. On this edition, we take a look at the health impacts of chemical exposure, the shoddy regulation of cosmetics, and the movement towards greener nail salons.


Alisha Nga Tran, Patient Leadership Council facilitator, Asian Health Services; Dr. Thu Quach, epidemiologist, Cancer Prevention Institute of California; My Tong, associate, California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative; Lam Le, former nail salon worker and cancer survivor; Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins , CEO, Green For All; Jamie Silberberger, director of programs and policy at Women’s Voices for the Earth; Uyen Nguyen, owner, Isabella Nail Salon; Sarah Vuong , employee at Isabella Nail Salon; Jill Adams , client, Isabella Nail Salon; David Chiu, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Thanks to all of our supporters, to As You Sow‘s Environmental Enforcement Fund and to for helping to crowd fund this story.