Waste acetone and certain other chemicals used in nail salons are considered hazardous wastes and must be managed and disposed of safely. This information describes how to manage some nail salon wastes. It is not intended to be a complete reference to all regulations relevant to nail salons and does not list all hazardous chemicals found in salons. Ultimately, responsibility for proper handling and disposal of waste belongs to the owner of the nail salon.
How to Dispose of Used Cotton Balls
Store cotton balls that have acetone, nail polish remover or other solvent on them in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. If they are not dripping with solvent they can be put in the garbage at the end of each day. If cotton balls are dripping with polish remover, do not put them in the garbage until you squeeze the excess solvent into a separate container with a tight-fitting lid. Dispose of the solvent as hazardous waste.
How to Dispose of Used Nail Polish Remover and Old Nail Polish
Dispose of unwanted nail polish, waste acetone and other waste nail polish removers as hazardous waste. You can take the waste to a hazardous waste treatment, storage, disposal or recycling facility (TSDR) drop off site or contract with a TSDR to pick it up from your business. Do not pour the acetone down your sink or toilet or put it in the garbage.
How to Store Used Nail Polish Remover and Other Chemicals
Keep a tight-fitting lid on all chemical containers and label each container with the name of the chem- ical and its hazard. For example, used nail polish remover should be labeled “Used Nail Polish Remover” and “Flammable”.
A list of some chemicals found in nail salons is given below, and storage information is provided for each type. Never mix them together: doing this could result in a toxic reaction or fire!
Solvents: like acetone, other nail polish removers and nail polish are flammables. Store flammables away from electrical outlets, stoves and other heat sources. Call your local fire department to find out how much flammable liquid you are allowed to store at your business and if you are required to store the flammables in a fireproof cabinet. Fire department regulations vary from city to city.
How to Use Less Solvent
Consider removing nails using the aluminum foil method This is how it works: Moisten a small cotton ball with acetone or other solvent and cover the acrylic fingernail with it. Then wrap the fingertip with aluminum foil. After repeating this process for all fingernails, put a new plastic glove or pedicure mitt over each hand to hold the aluminum foil in place and keep the acetone from evaporating. Some salons use warmed manicure mitts to speed up the process. When the acrylic nails are soft enough to remove, take off the cotton balls and aluminum and remove the nails. (You may have to repeat the process on some of nails before you can remove them.)
For instructions on how to dispose of the used cotton balls refer to page one “How to Dispose of Used Cotton Balls”.
Potential Safety Hazards
The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program reviewed various nail salon chemicals sold as substitutes for acetone and labeled as “non-acetone”. Many of these were advertised as safer than acetone. The study found that all substitutes had equivalent or higher health and environmental risks than acetone. For example, one nail polish remover labeled “non-acetone” contained 75 percent 2-propanone—another name for acetone.
No solvent, including acetone, is completely safe. A careful review of proposed alternatives is necessary before switching to non-acetone products.
How to Reduce Chemical Exposure
Properly ventilate your salon.
Your building should have a system that brings in fresh air. It should have one or more air intake units on the building’s roof and air ducts that circulate fresh air into your salon. It is also a good idea to have one of the following at each workstation:
How to Prevent Injuries
Safety supply vendors are listed online.
Acetone, a colorless liquid also known as Propanone, is a solvent used in manufacture of plastics and other industrial products. Acetone may also be used to a limited extent in household products, including cosmetics and personal care products, where its most frequent application would be in the formulation of nail polish removers. Acetone occurs naturally in the human body as a byproduct of metabolism.
Acetone is a primary ingredient in many nail polish removers. It breaks down nail polish, making it easy to remove with a cotton swab or cloth. It is widely used because it can easily mix with water and evaporates quickly in the air.
Acetone is widely used in the textile industry for degreasing wool and degumming silk.
As a solvent, acetone is frequently incorporated in solvent systems or “blends,” used in the formulation of lacquers for automotive and furniture finishes. Acetone also may be used to reduce the viscosity of lacquer solutions.
If acetone contacts your skin, it can become red and irritated if you have sensitive skin. Under chronic exposure, you'll get red, dry, cracked skin. Also, a little acetone will get absorbed into your body, but it's not enough to be worried about. ... Acetone may not harm your body too much.
For more information: See, Public Health Statement for Acetone>>>
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