Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

Santa Monica partners with state to improve work conditions at nail salons

by Take Two

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The city of Santa Monica has teamed up with a state group to improve working conditions at nail salons in the area. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Santa Monica has become the first southern California community to partner with a statewide program aimed at improving the health of nail salon technicians.

Starting this week, nail salons can work with the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative to figure out how to improve the air quality of the workplace through only using certain nail polishes and installing better ventilation systems.

The hope is that this effort will help with short-term problems such as skin irritation and prevent longer-term respiratory illnesses. 

An estimated 60-80 percent of California's 120,000 nail technicians are Vietnamese immigrants that the collaborative says are often putting a paycheck for their family ahead of their health. Workers who speak Vietnamese have been hired to do outreach in the community, and organize events to promote nail salon workers who are often viewed as lower-status in their communities. 

Lisa Fu, outreach and program director of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, joins the show to talk about the effort. 

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