The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Discussion covers salon regulations

By Ayanna Watson/ reporter

Although the nail industry is booming, it had no health regulations until recently, a SE sociology assistant professor told students March 30. 

“The cosmetic industry is one of the fastest growing industries but had the least amount of health regulations, which was basically non-existence,” Sharon Wettengel said.

Students gathered to view and discuss Painted Nails, a documentary on the nail salon industry through the perils of one person.

The film features Van Hoang and her husband, who immigrated from Vietnam to America to start a nail salon. Hoang realized she was having respiratory issues and had several miscarriages due to chemical fumes.

“Fumes in the nail salon has caused upper respiratory problems, asthma, cancer and life-threatening illness,” Wettengel said. “For many years, nothing has been done not just with nails but also in cosmetics in general.”

Hoang was among the first women to talk about the issue within the nail industry and traveled to San Francisco as well as to Washington, D.C., to address the problem.

Wettengel wanted the SE students to consider if the nail industry is a luxury at the expense of others and if they think about the negative impact when it comes to luxuries they are offered.

Students gave examples from the cosmetics, restaurant and sports industries and admitted they don’t put much thought into the luxury that is given to them.

“There are a lot of things in our daily life that we benefit from. We enjoy. It may be a bit of a luxury,” Wettengel said. “But do we really take the time and think about what people have to put themselves through, what people have to put their families through?”

In 2015, Congress introduced the Personal Care Product Safety Act and required manufacturers to disclose the ingredients in professional salon products for the first time. Hoang’s venture into politics regarding nails paid off, and she was heard.

“I want you guys to walk away with if you see a problem in society, you can make a difference and create a change,” Wettengel said.

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