COSHH and beauticians - key messages

  • Some ingredients in beauty and cleaning products can irritate the skin leading to dermatitis (eg solvents in nail varnish removers).
  • Some ingredients can cause skin allergies and asthma (eg liquids and powders in acrylic systems for artificial nails).
  • Dust filings from artificial nails can cause wheezing, chest tightness and asthma.
  • Acrylic fumes can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea.
  • Contact with blood and tissue residues from piercing or tattooing can cause infection.

There are simple things you can do to prevent ill health.

Preventing exposure to harmful substances usually means a combination of some of the following controls:

  • Keep the workplace well ventilated.
  • Use good work techniques that avoid or minimise contact with harmful substances and minimise leaks and spills.
  • Practice good hand care – remove contamination promptly, wash hands properly, dry thoroughly and moisturise regularly.
  • Provide an extractor hood or down draught table for nail work.
  • For some tasks, you may also need to provide personal protective equipment like protective gloves, aprons and eye protection.

The controls you need will depend on the task or treatment. Click the links below for more specific information.

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