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Inspectors Discover Number of Complaints at Nail Salons

Armen Hareyan's picture

Unlicensed individuals providing service and lack of sanitation create real health risks for nail salon visitors

Getting your nails done is a treat, but it can also be a health hazard. There is a real health risk associated with getting nails done in a salon that does not follow proper sanitary procedures. Technicians that don't disinfect all tools or wash their hands between customers can spread disease from one customer to another. Common dangers are infections of the nail from fungi, staph or viruses and lifting of or loss of the nail. Rare problems are hepatitis B & C or loss of a finger or a toe.

This warning comes after an Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) inspection campaign of more than 550 salons. The largest complaint is unlicensed person(s) providing nail services. In Iowa, an individual and the salon must hold a current license.

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You can protect yourself by making sure the technician's and salon's license are posted in plain view, the business is clean, instruments are sanitized between customers, technician(s) washes his or her hands between customers, there is good ventilation for release of fumes, a technician places a clean towel on the workstation and sanitized instruments have been soaked in an approved disinfectant. If these things are not done, walk out of the shop. It's okay to be a savvy consumer, your health depends on it.

The Iowa Board of Cosmetology Arts and Science Examiners is reviewing inspection records and beginning to issue disciplinary actions. Actions have been taken against the following licensees: Lorena Martinez doing business as Lorena's Beauty Salon of Des Moines; Tony's Nail and owner Phung Nguyen of Des Moines; Q-Nail and owner James Nhan Le of Sioux City; J.C. Penney Styling Salon 2821-7 of Sioux City; Regal Nails and owner Diem Thi Pham of Sioux City; Duy Q. Dau doing business as Pretty Nails of Carroll; Eva's Hair Mechanix and Kelley-Eve Bielenberg of Clinton; The Headquarters, Inc. of Bettendorf; Paris Nails and owner Thanh Hoang of Coralville; and Head Shed and owner Wanda Ludemann of Clinton. Additional actions resulting from the inspections are likely to be issued.

You can check if disciplinary action against a salon or licensee has been issued by going to the board's Web site at www.idph.state.ia.us/licensure Complaints against an individual or business must be in writing and remain confidential. To file a complaint, use the form on the Web page or call the board office at 515-281-0254.

IDPH's Bureau of Professional Licensure provides coordination, support and licensing of 19 boards of health-related examiners in addition to licensing and regulating about 90,000 individuals and 7,250 businesses. Protection of the public is the board's primary responsibility.