New Healthy Nail Salon Bill to Transform Nail Salon Industry throughout California

October 3, 2016

Julia Liou, 310-804-9953 (cell)
Lina Park, 510-986-6843

New Healthy Nail Salon Bill to Transform Nail Salon Industry throughout California
AB 2125, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, is a key step to improving the health of nail salon workers

OAKLAND, Calif.- Asian Health Services and the California Healthy Nail Salon
Collaborative announced that the recently signed Healthy Nail Salon Bill, AB215, will transform the nail industry in California. This landmark bill is a key step to improving the health of nail salon workers and consumers in California. The Healthy Nail Salon Bill was authored by Assembly Member David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

The nail salon industry is an $8 billion industry with approximately 129,000 nail salon workers and nearly 53,000 licensed businesses, many of which provide manicure services, in California. This bill will proactively take steps to establish statewide program guidelines to help cities and counties incentivize nail salons to use products that are less toxic and to adopt practices that are safer for their workers and customers. Eighty percent of nail salon workers are Asian immigrants with limited English speaking skills.

“This bill uses the incentive approach and encourages businesses to voluntarily become healthier nail salons, which will help both their workers and their patrons,” said Assembly Member Chiu. “There shouldn’t be hidden costs to polished nails, and as San Francisco’s healthy nail salon program says, ‘Pretty Shouldn’t Stink.'”

In light of this development, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University also announced today that the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and Asian Health Services, along with five collaborating city and county departments, is the national winner of the 2016 Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership, an award presented every two years to a public-private partnership project that enhances quality through use of novel and creative approaches.

“This landmark bill reflects an unprecedented commitment by the state to positively impact the health of thousands of nail salon workers. In signing this bill, Governor Brown has taken important action on this overlooked public health issue and ensuring this industry, an economic cornerstone for many immigrants, is sustainable for its workers for decades to come,” said Julia Liou, Program Planning and Development Director for Asian Health Services and Co-Founder of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative. “In addition, we are honored by the Roy Family Award, which further recognizes our work in California as a model for the nation.”

“We believe that Healthy Nail Salon programs demonstrate the impact of a highly-local, targeted approach in addressing environmental health and justice – one that can be replicated around the globe,” said Henry Lee, Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, in announcing the 2016 award winner.

The City and County of San Francisco was the first jurisdiction to implement a Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program to promote Healthy Nail Salons; now, they are also in Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties, and in the City of Santa Monica. There are nearly 100 nail salons that have adopted the program’s mandate to avoid some of the worst chemicals in salon products linked to cancer, and reproductive or developmental harm.

“This bill is especially important to us because it calls for consumer education, which has been a missing link, in moving nail products and salon industries toward healthier and less toxic nail formulations,” said Catherine Porter, Policy Director of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative. “With AB 2125, consumers will become more aware of the healthier options, and demand safer products and programs supporting them in their local communities.”

About Asian Health Services Asian Health Services, founded in 1974, is a community health center that provides primary, dental and behavioral
health services to underserved families of Oakland and Alameda County in English and 12 different Asian languages (Cantonese, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Mien, Lao, Mongolian, Karen, Karenni, and
Burmese). In addition to serving 27,000 patients a year, AHS advocates for the health of low-income families and children. As a nationally recognized community health center model, AHS stands at the forefront of quality and
innovation. For more information, go to:
About the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative

The California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative was established in 2005 out of a growing concern for the health, safety and rights of nail salon and cosmetology workers, owners, and students. The Collaborative includes over 40
organizational members and allies, including members from environmental and reproductive justice groups, the salon workforce, non-profit organizations, researchers, government agencies and other key stakeholders. The Collaborative’s mission is to improve the health, safety, and rights of the nail and beauty care workforce to achieve a healthier, more sustainable, and just industry. For additional information about the Collaborative, visit


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