Tips on choosing the safest nail salon for workers

Tips On Choosing The Safest Nail Salon For Workers
Tips On Choosing The Safest Nail Salon For Workers

A two-part investigation published by The New York Times on Thursday and Friday exposed how nail salon workers are horrifically exploited and forced to work in unsafe conditions. The series by Sarah Maslin-Nir, titled "Unvarnished" and published in English, Chinese, Korean and Spanish, has sparked outrage among readers.

As of Monday, the two stories - "The Price of Nails," and "Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers" have over 2,000 comments and hundreds more are reacting on Twitter.

On Sunday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo ordered emergency measures to tackle the abuse in the nail salon industry.

Cuomo Orders To Protect Workers at Nail Salons InsideGov

In the meantime, what can consumers do to make sure they're choosing the safest nail salons?

HuffPost Live's Alyona talked with Julia Liou of The California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative to get some answers.

First off, it's important to note that you can still get your nails done at the salon.

"I think what folks can do is really look for salons that are doing the right things. So for instance, salons that are using safer products, that don't have toxic chemicals," Julia Liou says. "Also look for salons that have ventilation and that actually train their workers on health and safety practices."

If you visit a salon where you think the workers may be being treated unfairly, Liou says that regardless of whether deportation may be in question, it's important to identify salons that are trafficking or practicing severe exploitation.

Other things you can do as a consumer are to ask your local city council members and county electives to support and pass such programs as the Healthy Nail Salon program. Hold manufacturers accountable for chemicals in products when it comes to health and safety concerns.

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