A New York Times investigation released on Thursday, May 7, which uncovered the horrendous conditions nail salon workers face on the job, led to a maelstrom of buzz and debates about worker rights and toxic exposures. The exposé revealed that salon workers are not only grossly underpaid and mistreated, but they are being poisoned by the toxic chemicals in nail polish, a product that undergoes little-to-no safety testing before it’s available on the market.
In an interview with the Times, Breast Cancer Fund Director of Program and Policy Janet Nudelman explains how the FDA lacks the power to perform even the most rudimentary functions to ensure the safety of an estimated $71 billion cosmetic industry.
“It’s a classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse,” says Janet Nudelman, the director of program and policy at the Breast Cancer Fund, which has argued for more stringent regulation. “You’ve got an industry-funded review panel that’s assessing the safety for the very industry that’s funding the review panel.”
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- Times Expose on Nail Salons Spurs Reader Outrage and Swift Action By Governor (Newsweek)
- Nail Salons Under Scrutiny in Wake of New York Times Investigation (KQED)
- What EPA Wants You to Know About Nail Salons (National Journal)
- The high price of cheap manicures: what can consumers do? (The Guardian)