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Potentially Hazardous Chemicals!!

Potentially Hazardous Chemicals!!

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Posted by Marti on November 21, 2000 at 13:55:54:

This information on 'chemicals' is posted on my web site and I have copied it here for your 'chemical' education. I have seen many posts on this board warning against the use of certain chemicals in shampoos and other retail beauty items. SLES or sodium laureth sulfate (the 'sudsing agent in shampoos, is NOT one of the chemicals used in cleaning solutions for garage floors; its cousin SLS or solium laurel sulfate is used in these industrial cleansers! The information presented is mainly aimed at nail technicians because of the types of chemicals we work with on a daily basis; however, practicing safe work habits in the home and workplace is good advice for anyone!

Most people believe chemicals are dangerous or toxic substances. Ask someone about chemicals and they might mention toxic waste dumps or factories dumping poisonous waste into streams. Actually, everything we see and touch is a chemical, except for light and electricity. Air is a combination of many chemicals; oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen. Clean, pure mountain stream water is a chemical. A newborn baby's skin is 100% chemical.

Why do people only think of chemicals in a negative way? It is because of the dramatized and exaggerated images created by the media. These images are misleading and inaccurate. The truth is, 99% of the chemicals we come in contact with in our lives are completely safe and beneficial. Water is the most common chemical, yet water can be very dangerous! In fact, it can kill you within minutes. Try sticking your head in a bucket full of water for 5 minutes. Foolish? Yes! Since we were very young, our parents taught us the potential hazards of water; it is dangerous to swim after a big meal or use a blow dryer in the bathtub, and not to drive fast on wet pavement. We all learned the rules, and the same holds true for salon chemicals. There are 'safe working' rules we must follow, or we will suffer the consequences. Every chemical can be safe and every chemical can be dangerous -- it's up to you!

No chemical in the world can be harmful unless you overexpose yourself. Every chemical substance has a safe and unsafe level of exposure. Simply touching, inhaling, or smelling a potentially hazardous substance can't harm you. Exceeding the safe level of exposure is the danger we must learn to avoid!

Some chemicals are dangerous even in tiny amounts and are not suited for salon use. Professional products are formulated to be as safe as possible, though no nail product or other cosmetic product is free from all risks. A normally safe product can become dangerous if used incorrectly. Even gardeners and mechanics must follow safe working procedures.

Reduce Your Exposure
Material Safety Data Sheets provide information to all chemical workers, including nail technicians. MSDS help firefighters deal with chemical fires or clean up large spills, and doctors to treat accidental poisonings. Any professional product that contains a potentially hazardous substance has an MSDS. What can you learn from an MSDS?

Potentially hazardous ingredients found in each product.

Proper storage and fire prevention.

Ways to prevent hazardous chemicals from entering the body.

The short and long-term health effects of overexposure.

Early warning signs of product overexposure.

Emergency first aid advice.

Emergency phone numbers.

Safe handling techniques.

There are only three ways that a potentially hazardous chemical can enter the body. If you block these 'routes of entry', you will automatically lower your exposure.

1. Inhalation by breathing vapors, mists, or dusts.

2. Absorption through the skin or broken tissue.

3. Unintentional or accidental ingestion.

The human body is very rugged and complex, giving early warning signs of overexposure. Unfortunately, these symptoms are often ignored. For instance, overexposure to some solvents can make you feel very tired or keep you from sleeping. Overexposure can cause headaches, nausea, angry or frustrated feelings, nosebleeds, coughs, dizziness, tingling fingers and toes, dry or scratchy nose and throat, puffy red and irritated skin, itching, and many other symptoms. Watching for these acute symptoms will help you avoid more serious, long-term problems.

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