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  • Research

    Advancing research and data collection efforts and effectively utilizes the expertise of a national Research Advisory Committee to support the Collaborative and National Healthy Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance’s work.

      “Given the multitude of compounds – that may increase risk of cancer and other chronic illnesses – there is a real need for additional research to examine the long term health effects of working in this industry.  The intent behind new research would be to understand the relationship between occupational exposures in this industry and health problems, rather than to penalize workers or owners, who depend on nail salons for their livelihood.”  — Thu Quach, PhD, Chair of Research Committee

    While health impacts such as rashes, headaches, dizziness and respiratory problems have been well-documented in salons, little research has been conducted on the long-term, chronic health impacts resulting from workplace exposures.  Stories from workers of adverse reproductive outcomes, including spontaneous abortions, preterm births and low-birth weight, in addition to asthma and cancer, are often not reported to health authorities due to health access, language and socio-cultural barriers.  Even when workers have reported health problems, little has been done to further investigate the association between workplace exposures and health problems.  Thus, there has been little documentation of chronic health impacts experienced by the salon workforce.  Currently, the many compounds used in salons do not have full toxicology and health data, which emphasizes the need for more research and long-term studies in this area.

    In April 2009 the Collaborative hosted a research convening to learn about research studies and to develop recommendations for future research that address worker health and safety. Download the convening report, Framing a Proactive Research Agenda to Advance Worker Health and Safety in the Nail Salon and Cosmetology Communities, to learn more.

    The research committee focuses on the current state of research on nail salon and other cosmetology workers, including identifying research areas that need more in-depth research to promote worker health and safety. The committee follows a research-to-action approach in which the research supports policy and outreach efforts that directly benefit the workers. The committee takes on a proactive role in advocating for necessary research needed to advance a healthy worker and safe workplace agenda, and provides a support role to other committees to further their goals.  Several of the research studies done by members of the committee focus on the community-based participatory research (CBPR) framework, where affected workers and other community advocates are actively engaged throughout the research process. The Collaborative and the National Healthy Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance have established a national Research Advisory Committee (RAC) consisting of experts in industrial hygiene, chemistry/biochemistry, toxicology, epidemiology, public health and environmental health sciences to provide expertise and technical guidance on our research, policy advocacy and outreach efforts.

    The RAC* is comprised of:

    • Ann Blake, PhD, Consultant
    • Michael J. DiBartolomeis, PhD, DABT, California Department of Public Health
    • Lori Edwards, DrPH, MPH, BSN, APHN-BC, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
    • Laurie Foster, King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program
    • Mark Lim, PhD, Consultant
    • Tuan Nguyen, CSP, CIH, ARM, State Compensation Insurance Fund
    • Julia Quint, PhD, Consultant
    • Peggy Reynolds, PhD, Cancer Prevention Institute of California
    • Cora Roelofs, ScD, University of Massachusetts Lowell
    • Alexandra Gorman Scranton, MES, Women’s Voices for the Earth
    • Swati Sharma, MS, San Francisco Department of the Environment
    • Mark Valenti, PhD, Analytical Sciences
    • Nerissa Wu, PhD, MPH, California Safe Cosmetics Program
    • Ami Zota, ScD, MS, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health


    *Note: The organizational affiliations of RAC members are listed for identification purposes only. While individual RAC members provide expert advice to the Collaborative and Alliance, their organizations and the members themselves may or may not endorse the Collaborative and Alliance’s activities.

    The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) is available to provide input on relevant research and science questions impacting the nail and beauty salon communities. If you or your organization would like to request input from the RAC, please download and complete this Research Advisory Committee Input Request form and email to Thu Quach at Thank you!