As usual, I get ideas for Blogs after reading questions or comments on SM. This one is no different.
A busy UK nail pro put up a little video of her banging her dust extraction filters outside. My goodness!!! The clouds of dust were billowing!! A lot of that could have ended up in her lungs and some of it in her clients’ lungs!
Some of the resulting comments were: “I would love to be able to afford one”; “I had 6 chest infections in 1 year and was taking steroids. Not one since getting good dust extraction”; “My headaches have disappeared since getting one.”
It has long been known that dust is one of the worst hazards we face as nail pros.
Obviously, it depends on the type of services offered but if there is a lot of filing being done and especially if an e-file is used, it must be dealt with. Working in a dusty environment has serious health implications. The finer the dust, the more dangerous it is, as heavier dust will fall onto surfaces rather than be airborne.
So, what is the solution?
- A good quality dust extractor that has a HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air filter). Theoretically, this will clean the air passing through it of most of the dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and other particles of a very small size. This should be set into the desk top or close beside the working area. This means the dust is drawn downwards or sideways before it reaches your breathing space.
- If not, much dust is created, then smaller desktop versions are available. But these should only be purchased from a reputable manufacturer that is a specialist in dust extraction. You pay for efficient quality which is not the cheap versions found on the internet. But these really are only suitable for minimal dust creation.
- A specific dust mask that includes a HEPA filter. The surgical paper masks do nothing to protect you from dust. If anything, they can create their own hazard as they get damp from breathing and attract the dust to them. Without wanting to mention the ‘C’ word, everyone should be very aware of the types of masks that are suitable: FFP 2-3 or N95-99. They are not cheap and need to be ‘face fitted’ to be efficient. They also have a lifespan and need to be cleaned and changed regularly.
Back to the original title. What career or sector has known hazards associated with it and chooses to ignore the advice. It is the same for the other hated word: allergies. Why should working people have to resort to taking unpleasant medication just to be able to do their job?
The cost of all safety measures should be built into overheads. If you can’t afford efficient protection for your health, then either your business costings need serious adjustment, or you should question if you are doing the right job! It is that serious!
There is no reason anyone working in this sector should be ignorant of the hazards. Find the cost of a very good dust extractor or, at the very least, wear a very efficient mask. Just remember a mask may provide some protection for you but not for your clients. Nor for others working in the environment who don’t wear a mask at all times.
What cost is your health?