Vapors/fumes harmful for pregnant techs?

Celebrity Q and A'sI have been a nail tech for seven years, and have always used creative. The fumes are just a part of my life, I don't smell them, but people are always making comments about the smell, since I use all creative products, I would like to know if creative has done any testing on the products to see if they are harmful to a nail tech that inhales them 12 hrs. A day, 4 days a week, and what about a pregnant nail tech? Could the fumes harm her unborn baby? Thank you for your time. Leslie 1/00

From the experience I have had the fumes can be harmful after an extended period of time. I have no personal proof of this but she can ask nail techs who have been in the business 20 years breathing the fumes, there can be an increased rate of illness and cough. Most Dr's recommend if the tech becomes pregnant to discontinue use of acrylic during pregnancy. It is best to consult a Dr on these matters!

Shayna Raymond

This is a very common concern for nail techs. The smell you are referring to is from a substance called ethyl methacrylate or EMA. It is the major monomer used in most odor based nail enhancements Unless your salon is next to a welding or auto repair shop, you probably have no fumes around. Fumes are a smoke which contains small particles, i.e. welding fumes, exhaust fumes. In the salon, we have vapors. Vapors are created when liquids evaporate. Now, to answer your question- EMA is one of the most studied monomers in world. It is used in thousands of applications and by hundreds of different industries, including the nail industry. Over the last twenty years there have been many dozens of scientific studies performed on this monomer. Every one of these studies were evaluated by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Board (CIR), a group of world leading medical experts in cosmetic ingredient safety. EMA has been exhaustively reviewed TWICE by this prestigious board, during the last seven years.

In the first review, the CIR expert panel determined that EMA was safe as used by professional nail technicians. During the second review, (completed this last Dec.) the CIR determined that EMA was even safer than originally thought. They now believe EMA is SO SAFE, it can be used in retail nail products, as well. John Bailey (the Director of the FDA's Color and Cosmetic Division) sits on the CIR expert panel. Eric Schwartz from OPI and I spoke with him personally and asked him what he thought of the CIR ruling. He absolutely agrees the scientific information shows that EMA is safe for use on fingernails. To reach this conclusion, the CIR considered the effect of long term inhalation and skin contact. They looked at both scientific studies, as well as, medical reports and studies done on workers in factories that make and use EMA.

I completely agree with the FDA and CIR. In my opinion, there is no doubt that EMA is safe for use by nail techs. BTW: the CIR also determined there is no evidence that EMA can affect or harm unborn babies. The strange odor of the substance concerns people and makes them fearful. But odor has nothing to do with safety. Some very dangerous chemicals have no odor or even smell sweet and wonderful. For example, the vast majority of cosmetic related allergic reactions are caused by fragrances in products. This is why it is foolish to assume that 
odorless or odor free= safe. It does NOT!

Of course, you should still take care and work safely. Working safely is important no matter what your profession. Nail techs should make sure they use proper ventilation to control both dusts and vapors. Nothing in the world is 100% safe. Millions have died from over exposure to water. Even so, we know that water can be used safely. The same is true for nail enhancement products. 

Doug Schoon
Director of R&D
Creative Nail Design, Inc.

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