Protective Equipment for Nail Technician Students


FROM: Carole W. Yates, Director


DATE: June 9, 2015

The Department of State issued on May 18, 2015 an emergency regulation concerning protection from dangerous chemicals for Nail Technicians working in salons. By June 15, 2015, such salons must provide their nail technicians with the following for each work station:

  • A properly fitted N-95 or N-100 respirator, approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, for each individual who uses the workstation. All workers must use these respirators when buffing or filing nails or when using acrylic powder.
  • Protective gloves made of nitrile, or another similar non-permeable material for workers with sensitivity to nitrile gloves. You must have a sufficient number of gloves available so that each nail technician can use a new pair of gloves for each customer. All workers must wear these gloves when handling potentially hazardous chemicals or waste and during cleanup, or when performing any nail service that has a risk of breaking the customer’s skin.
  • Protective eye equipment. All workers must wear eye protection when preparing, transferring, or pouring potentially hazardous chemicals.

The list of potentially hazardous chemicals commonly found in nail salons can be accessed at the Department of State's website.

View the Department of State announcement.

The intent of the regulation is to protect people performing the work of nail technicians from dangers to their health and safety, and this logically includes students performing such tasks as part of their training, whether they practice on each other, or on customers during clinic hours.

BPSS-regulated schools with Nail Technician programs, therefore, will have to provide the equipment listed above to their students. The respirator masks, which can be disposable or reusable, as long as of N-95 or N-100 standard, can be made part of the student kit.

Schools should notify their field associate by email or letter that they have read this announcement and are in compliance. At the next curriculum reapproval, this equipment should be added to the equipment list.