Healthy Nail Salon Program in Santa Clara County Protects Health of Workers and Customers

June 14, 2019
The Healthy Nail Salon Program is operated by the County of Santa Clara Department of Environmental Health. The program is a rapidly growing initiative that recognizes and promotes nail salons utilizing safer products, practices, and ventilation for employees and customers. The County of Santa Clara has the highest number of certified nail salons in the state of California, with 124 participating businesses, and is looking to certify 100% of the county's 800+ nail salons.
The program – which has no cost to join - aims to ensure all salons eliminate the use of products with specific harmful chemicals that threaten the health of nail salon workers and customers. Nail salon workers, many of whom are in their child-bearing years, face exposures that may lead to increased risks of cancer, respiratory, neurological, and reproductive health issues. Simply by participating in the Healthy Nail Salon Program, a vast majority of these risks can be reduced for employees. Signing up is as easy as going online and completing a registration form.
County of Santa Clara List of Certified Healthy Nail Salons
Thanks to the Healthy Nail Salon Program, these risks have been reduced for thousands of workers who don’t have the resources to stand up for themselves, helping ensure a safer future for the employees and their children.

Ensuring all salon workers are protected by the Healthy Nail Salon Program guidelines is so important to the county that Supervisors Cindy Chavez and Mike Wasserman, as well as the Department of Environmental Health Director, Michael Balliet, participated in a media event where they had their nails done at a certified nail salon. 
“Everybody should sign up for the Healthy Nail Salon program. Not only are your customers going to appreciate being in a less toxic environment that feels and smells good, but it is also a great way to attract workers.”
-Supervisor Cindy Chavez
The program is voluntary, but consumers have the greatest influence on its future growth. If everyone going in for a polish, filler, or artificial nails asks their salon to join, everyone in Santa Clara County would benefit. Certified salons are easily identifiable from the logo in the front window. A simple online check of certified salons looking out for the best interests of their employees and customers is available at
Healthy nail salons reduce exposure to toxic chemicals like toluene, dibutyl phthalate, and formaldehyde, also known as the “toxic trio”, that are commonly found in nail polishes, lacquers, thinners, and removers. Another chemical, methyl methacrylate, is currently banned by the FDA, but it can still find its way into regional businesses.

In addition to safer products, the program advocates for safer workplace practices and enhanced worker safety training. Participating nail salon owners commit to providing their workers the appropriate personal protective equipment such as nitrile gloves and respiratory protection when working with thinners, removers, and dust from artificial nails. The program offers up to a $1,000 rebate on ventilation units to minimize the inhalation of fumes and odors.
“Blossom Nail Spa is the first nail salon to join the Healthy Nail Salon Program since 2014. By providing a safe and healthy environment with good ventilation, organic and natural products- our business revenue have increased sufficiently as well as retaining more qualifying professionals. Our health is important and this measure brings awareness. Being part of this beneficial program is one of the best decisions I made and hopefully more nail salons will join.”
-Linda Do, Blossom Nail Spa Owner
“These are very simple actions that help ensure long-term health for workers within the industry,” said Rochelle Gaddi, Director of Consumer Protection Division . “While we have the highest number of participating salons in the state, there is a long way to go to guarantee a safer environment for the industry. We hope the public will assist by asking the salons they visit to join for the betterment of health for the employees and themselves.”
As the nail salon industry continues to expand, our goal is to increase participation in the Healthy Nail Salon Program to improve the health and safety of salon workers and customers in the County of Santa Clara.