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My Nails, Your Health: An Analysis of Literature Promoting Health Among Low-Wage Asian Immigrant Women Nail Salon Technicians in the United States

Võ, Tracy

Low-wage and low-income workers are often in precarious work situations or workplaces that endanger their health. An example of a precarious, low-wage occupation is nail salon work. Nearly 8 in 10 nail salon technicians (NSTs) are considered low-wage workers, which is a percentage that is greater than the average occupation. Nail salon technicians, who may also be referred to as manicurists and/or pedicurists, are exposed daily to products and chemicals including toluene, formaldehyde, and phthalates. Better known as the “toxic trio,” these chemicals are used as polish hardeners, thinners, and plasticizers and can cause cancer and reproductive issues especially in women. NSTs are projected to grow by 10% by 2028. With this growth and the massive influx of mostly Asian immigrant technicians to fill these nail salon positions, there should be efforts focused on health promotion and health education for these vulnerable workers. There is largely a lack of health promotion and health education literature aimed specifically at nail salon technicians, even technicians who are Asian immigrant women. This literature review aims to bring together the complex relationships between the identities of Asian immigrant nail salon technicians and their health and to provide recommendations and considerations for such health programs.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Sociomedical Sciences
Thesis Advisors
Oppenheimer, Gerald M.
Degree
M.P.H., Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Published Here
May 8, 2020