Author of California’s law to protect consumers from unsanitary salons wants stiffer penalties for mislabeled productsSACRAMENTO – Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), who authored California’s law requiring certain sanitary conditions at nail salons, wants to stiffen penalties for nail polish manufacturers who mislabel their products containing toxic chemicals.Today, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released a report that showed nail products often contain chemicals that pose harm to customers and workers.  Investigators found that 10 of the 12 products which claimed to be free of such harmful chemicals in fact contained the substances, and four of the products had dangerously high levels.

“Consumers and workers deserve to be protected,” said Yee.  “While we have made great strides in ensuring sanitary conditions at salons, the presence of dangerous chemicals still persists.  There are no excuses for manufacturers to mislabel their products. If they can’t clean up their act on their own, then we have no choice but to force those changes by law.”

Yee plans to review existing penalties to determine if they should be increased or if particular chemicals should be banned outright.

DTSC investigators reviewed 25 brands of nail polish, including products that claimed to be free of the chemicals toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde, which have been linked to developmental problems, asthma and other illnesses.

After a number of outbreaks and deaths caused by infections received during pedicures, in 2006, Yee passed AB 409 to establish new cleaning requirements for salons, require notification to consumers who visit salons found in violation of health and safety code, increase fines to $500 per footspa chair or cleaning log for a maximum of $5,000 per inspection, and allow the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to immediately suspend any license without advance hearing, if the action is necessary to protect the public health and safety to among other changes.


Contact: Adam Keigwin
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