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Pages: 1 2, replied to my email and told me they no longer make this product.
Those look very interesting Cherie, but I wonder if they can hooked up to the table, like the WTAC or are they just placed on the floor.....I read through some of it and cannot seem to make that determination.... :roll: I must be having a DUH! day..... Smile Smile

Thanks for finding that helps to see what else is out there!
What about the nail tables that have vents built into they help????
Gees, I'm scared to death to post this, but am going to ~ bravely. Please be kind!?
I owned several upscale nail salons before NSS came along, salons that charged $65 for a new set, and $48 for a basic pedicure way before they were even near that price.... so yes, it was way long ago. My clients were richies and professionals, and respected me and my employees for our professionalism.
At the time, there were no such things as ventilation systems that did ANYTHING ~ I checked those tables out and was told they were a waste of money, and the other systems were bandaids, I was told. SO, I started wearing face masks during the build, and during the filing. My clients knew why (overexposure) and if I forgot to get it out, they reminded me.

I did nail enhancements for 14 years before I changed to natural nails, pedicures and skin care exclusively. And know this was the good health thing to do ~ as a former dental hygienist, I knew about particles sizes/passing through masks and purchased the right ones to protect me and wore them correctly.
Now I know what you are all going to say - too much like NSS, I'd rather die that wear a mask. But I want to tell you. I did it in a professional way, with full explanations to my clients and only when the fumes and filings were in my air space. And I would do it again. Ventilation systems are not worth the money spent on them, in my view.
Well, truth be known, I probably would only do gels due to the odors of other systems, and still would use a mask during all filing. My health is too valuable to me....... [Covering my head....] :cry:
Jan, what masks did you use. I would like to find a good one, that when I breath I don't fog up my glasses.
JanMc :
> Gees, I'm scared to death to post this, but am going to ~ bravely. Please be
> kind!?
I did nail enhancements for 14 years before I changed to natural nails, pedicures
> and skin care exclusively. And know this was the good health thing to do ~
> as a former dental hygienist, I knew about particles sizes/passing through
> masks and purchased the right ones to protect me and wore them correctly.

JanMc, I agree about the particle size being important- and because of this it is best to use a N95 rated dust mask to prevent inhaling dust and vapors (we do not have "fumes" in the salon- fumes come from car exhausts - what we do have are vapors)

> Now I know what you are all going to say - too much like NSS, I'd rather die
> that wear a mask. But I want to tell you. I did it in a professional way, with
> full explanations to my clients and only when the fumes and filings were in
> my air space.

I agree that it is ok to wear a mask- and for those who ask about it- I tell them that Doctors, Dentists, Hygenists, etc wear them for protection- and they are certainly professionals. And if we choose to wear a mask, we are no less professional because of it. Knowledge is power, as I always say... Big Grin

And I would do it again. Ventilation systems are not worth the
> money spent on them, in my view.

I am sorry that you have that view that ventilation systems are not worth the money- however some very respectable companies (large corporations and local HVAC companies nationally and worldwide), have made ventilation systems that are safe and effective.

The most important factor is to make sure that any ventilation system takes the air away from our breathing space, and brings it into a filtration system so that only clean air is expelled from the system.

For example- some use a WTAC- a unit that takes dust and vapors from a specific area, pulls it through a hose and then through a filter that is charcoal activated (to absorb vapors) as well as HEPA (to remove all dusts) before it expels clean air back outside the unit.

Also- others may use a central vac system (as some have in their homes), with the same use and function as the WTAC

and yes, others use a vented table- commonly very ineffective, unfortunately.

> Well, truth be known, I probably would only do gels due to the odors of other
> systems, and still would use a mask during all filing. My health is too valuable
> to me....... [Covering my head....] :cry:

Actually, gels create a much finer dust than liquid & powder-

liquid and powder may give off an odor (the odor cannot harm you- it may be offensive to some, and some moreso than others- but the odor from the vapors of liquid monomers won't harm you)-

yet the dusts created from liquid and powder enhancements are larger (particle size) and therefore less apt to float into our breathing zone..

so therefore when doing gels, I always stress how important it is to have extraction ventilation to remove all the fine dust particles.

with Liquid & Powder it is also important to remove all the dust particles, large and fine and all in between- and an extraction ventilation system that can remove/reduce the odor as well (charcoal activated) is a good idea...

essentially- safety is our main concern:

Proper masks (rated N95 are best) are a good idea if you choose to wear them.
Gels are not safer than Liquid and Powder, or vice versa.
Odors created from vapors are not always harmful.
We do not have fumes in the salon- only vapors, mists and dusts.
Extraction ventilation is a very good and effective idea.

I just hope you are not upset by my reply-

I only wish to share and convey actual fact based information- and as I have dealt with air quality specialists, and HVAC specialists, and currently have extraction ventilation systems being built for me, I want to make sure that all understand the dangers and facts correctly.

You don't have to cover your head and cry..and I hope you don't after reading this....

I always hope to converse with all respectably, and without any negativity -

so I hope you are not offended by my post or that I have sent you off lurking forevermore...

Please have a wonderful day!

All the best,
Melissa, I always enjoy reading your posts. Good to "see" you.
Thank you Elizabeth Big Grin

All the best,
Just to say hi, and that I love my WTAC system. I've been doing nails for the past 15 years. I have severe allergies and would usually end up with bronchitis and pneumonia every year. 4 years ago, I invested in my health (WTAC and filters cost less than med bills and lost wages) and purchased the WTAC. At first I used a hose holder that I built to accomadate the extractor hose, then I broke down and put the hole in my table (I have tempered glass as well, and had to have it professionally cut). In the 4 years since installing the unit, I have not missed a single day due to my lung health. It has been one of the best investments in my career. I also wear glasses (my eyes are real bad and lenses run me close to 900.00$ U.S.) and the dust particles were leaving huge scratches on the lenses. Now I have no problems with the airbourne dust particles on face, glasses, clothes or customers. Wonderful unit!!!! And the company is very quick with any and all replies to questions or concerns! I have no reservations in recommending it to anyone that does nails. Big Grin I have also recommended it to a customer that does model building and ceramic. :lol:
Ok, I understand the WTAC unit is an exceptional system, but I checked with the company Melissa posted in her original post, and they told me they no longer make these units. So, as I asked in a previous post, and no one has yet to answer me. Where can we get this unit now?
That is so scary. I am allergic to acrylics and since I started doing all gels I noticed the fine dust that gets on me and my clients. I use an exhaust system on top of my table, (my husband custom made it). Still when I do nails I wear a mask. At the end of the day I can feel the dust all over my face and eyes. Also, when I finish, my clients often have the while dust around their nostrils which is really freaking me out. I have seen the hose attachment on Akzentz and want to look into that further. What scares me is I have been coughing alot, especially on days when I'm extra busy. It could be from something else. I am having some medical issues that are being looked into, but thank you for posting this and I will now actively look into more protection from the dust.
ok i need to know,, where do i buy something that will help me,,, i do have asthma,, and dont need any more breathing problems,,, so i need the 95 masks?? and what kind of ventelation,, what bout tht one tht hooks right on ur drill???
*Bump* this thread when Joyce asked about "where" to purchase a WTAC unit if the company is not making them? :?
herbal store

I know exactly what you friend is experiencing. I did nails for over 18 years and didn't bother using a mask. Last December I had an asthma attack I couldn't breathe and I triggered an anxiety attack. The doctor told me it was from my doing the acrylics for so long. He had been telling me for the prior 3 years that I had to stop doing nails because it was going to get worse ( I had never suffered from allergies nor sinuses but I was getting sinus infections every two to three months). After that attack I closed my shop in panic. Your right you health is more important.

I love doing nails so much, I decided I would only do them on Saturdays. I've already purchased masks and a table top fan. I will eventually invest in an air purifier.

Thanks Melissa!

Wow, this post is from last year and is as current now as it was then!

Continuing the discussion, what do you all do?? Since I'm increasing my hours doing nails (mostly gels), I'm going to get the 95 masks.

I work in a sunroom...are there portable units out there for air filtration? Anyone know??

Michelle Smile


Here's something I found that might be helpful but much of it is repeating what has already been said:


400 Artificial Fingernails and Indoor Air Quality
PDF Version of OH/IAQ Bulletin 400 in English PDF


Working with artificial fingernails can be harmful to health. The chemicals found in artificial nails can be harmful not only to employees, but also to customers. Chemical vapors can even escape the salon and affect neighboring businesses. However, nail work can be done safely if the proper steps are taken. This fact sheet suggests the measures that employers and employees can take.


The chemicals in artificial nail products can enter the body from breathing them, from accidentally swallowing them, or from absorbing them through the skin. Whether they affect a person’s health depends on several factors:

* how often and how long one is exposed to the chemicals

* how the chemicals enter the body

* the amount of the chemicals in the air or on the skin

* the kinds of harm a specific chemical can cause

Artificial nail products can irritate the skin and cause a rash. They can also cause dryness, flaking and cracking of the skin.

An allergy to some chemicals may also develop, resulting in redness, itching, hives and sometimes blisters. Once an allergy to a chemical develops, exposure to even a tiny amount can cause an allergic reaction – which in extreme cases can be life-threatening. Nail products which can produce an allergic skin reaction include methacrylates, formaldehyde and benzoyl peroxide.


Contact with vapors and airborne dusts can cause irritation and redness, burning, itching or discomfort. The eyes may water and vision may briefly become distorted. Chemicals which can cause these effects include acrylates and many solvents, such as methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and acetone.

Nose, Throat and Lungs

These same chemicals can also irritate the nose, throat and lungs. Symptoms include irritation or soreness of the nose and throat, hoarseness, coughing, lung congestion, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Cigarette smoking can worsen these symptoms. Chronic bronchitis can develop from repeated exposure to chemicals that irritate the lungs.

Repeated exposure to some of the artificial nail products, such as ethyl methacrylate, can cause asthma. Symptoms of asthma include difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. Once a person becomes sensitized to a chemical, extremely small amounts of that chemical (or even similar ones) can cause asthmatic attacks. Occupational exposure limits established by recognized reference organizations (such as OSHA and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists [ACGIH]) do not typically protect against sensitization. Therefore, exposure to chemicals that cause asthma or other allergies should be kept as low as possible.

Nervous System

Breathing in the vapors of certain chemicals can affect the brain the same way as drinking too much alcohol does. Over-exposure to these vapors can cause headaches, nausea and dizziness, as well as make one feel irritable, confused or drunk. Long-term exposure can affect the brain (including the ability to learn and to concentrate). Some of these chemicals are MEK, acetone, toluene, xylene, ethyl ether and methacrylates.


Most of the substances used in artificial nails have not been adequately tested to see if they can cause cancer. Formaldehyde and methylene chloride are suspected of causing cancer. Avoid products that contain these chemicals.

Reproductive System

Most of the chemicals used in artificial nails have not been adequately tested to see if they can harm a developing baby or affect the fertility of men or women. Organic solvents are used in artificial nail products and can be absorbed into the body by inhalation or by skin contact. This type of chemical can cause birth defects when a pregnant woman is exposed to them. They can also harm the nursing infant. Avoid the use of acetonitrile and the glycol ethers if at all possible.


The products that a manicurist or nail technician uses are made up of many different chemicals. It is important to know the ingredients and hazards of the chemicals being used.

The Right to Know

The Hazard Communication Standard is a regulation of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that gives employees the right to know the health and safety hazards of the products that they use on the job. This standard requires chemical manufacturers and importers to provide hazard information to employers by means of a fact sheet, called a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). It is the employer’s responsibility to obtain the MSDSs from the manufacturer or distributor for all hazardous products used in the salon and to make them easily available to employees.

Material Safety Data Sheets

An MSDS must list the hazardous ingredients of a product, discuss any health and safety hazards and suggest ways to use the product safely. The MSDS must also describe any fire and explosion hazards, first aid and procedures for cleaning up leaks and spills.

Employees who believe that they are exposed to a chemical which might affect their health should ask their supervisor for the MSDS for that product. Employers should ask their suppliers for the MSDS.

Sometimes MSDSs can be hard to understand. To help workers understand them, the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety (DOS) has a publication, "Understanding MSDSs: Your Right to Know" (see For More Information, at the end of this pamphlet). MSDSs can also be incomplete or just plain wrong. If you have difficulty getting an MSDS, or you think that they may be wrong, contact your local OSHA office (see For More Information).

Worker Education

In addition to an MSDS, employers are required to have an education program to tell employees about the hazards of the chemicals with which they work, as well as how to work safely with them.


In the nail salon, to get rid of the chemical vapors in the air, nail technicians should apply artificial fingernails at a ventilated work table. It is also helpful to keep all bottles of fingernail liquid tightly capped. In addition, it may be helpful to look at work habits to see if they can be improved. Finally, proper general room ventilation is important to keep toxic chemicals from drifting into near-by businesses.

Use a Ventilated Table

A ventilated table is a table that has a fan that pulls the chemical vapors into a duct and away from both the nail technician and the customer. A ventilated table protects the technician and customer best against breathing toxic chemicals. The ventilation system should be designed to vent contaminated air to the outside, not inside the shop (for details on how to design and install a ventilated table, obtain the NIOSH publication, "Controlling Chemical Hazards During the Application of Artificial Fingernails" – see For More Information).

Keep Dispenser Bottles Closed

Use dispenser bottles that have small openings, only large enough for an application brush to enter. The bottle stoppers should be pressure-sensitive. A dispenser bottle with a pressure-sensitive stopper and small opening will result in less evaporation of the fingernail liquid and, thus, will cut down on possible exposures to methacrylates and waste less product.

Improve Your Work Habits

Nail technicians can also lower their exposures to these airborne chemicals by changing some of their work habits:

1. Place chemical-soaked gauze pads in a sealed bag before throwing them in the trash can.
2. Change trash can liners daily.
3. Pour only the amount of fingernail liquid needed into the closed dispenser bottle.
4. Nail technicians should wear personal protective clothing and glasses. When technicians remove artificial nails, chips of acrylic often fly off, creating a need for eye protection. In addition to safety glasses, technicians also should wear long sleeves and gloves to protect their skin from acrylic dust. To protect against breathing the dust, a dust mask should be worn.
5. Technicians should wash their hands, arms and face with mild soap and water several times throughout the day to remove potentially irritating dust.
6. Do not eat or drink where artificial fingernails are applied or in other working areas. Methacrylates in nail dust can be carried accidentally to the mouth or face on a cup or other food item, and this contact may cause a skin rash. Also, many other chemicals are used in a salon that could cause health problems if swallowed.
7. Prohibit smoking in the entire salon because many of the chemicals in a beauty shop, including nail products, catch fire easily.

Provide Adequate Room Ventilation

As with any indoor environment, artificial nail salons should provide general dilution ventilation with an adequate supply of outside air. The minimum recommended amount is 25 cubic feet per minute of fresh air per occupant for beauty salons. To avoid spreading chemical vapors to neighboring businesses, nail salons should not share the same ventilation system with another business and should have negative air pressure in relation to adjacent spaces. To maintain negative pressure, the salon should exhaust slightly more air than is supplied so that any leakage of vapors will not enter adjacent businesses. A ventilation contractor can measure the amount of fresh air and air pressure in the salon.

In addition, walls separating the salon from other businesses should have no holes, gaps or cracks. Check with your local board of health to find out about any local regulations that may apply to nail salons.
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