Nail salon owners say new requirements are a burden

More protection is on the way for salon workers exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals in nail products. But some store owners worry the new requirements could force them to close.

Cynthia Yi from the Korean American Nail Association of New York says she fears the nail industry is doomed because of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recent announcement of new ventilation standards inside nail salons, starting this October. 

Under the state law, requirements include supplying fresh outdoor air to remove all chemicals, vapors and fumes from the salon and exhaust them safely outdoors. The new code also requires exhaust systems at all manicure and pedicure stations.

Yi says not only will this be a financial burden, but she doubts landlords will want to work with them because that would alter the structure of the building.

Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal has been fighting for the past 2 years to get letter grades in salon windows, the way restaurants have them. He is focused on sanitary practices at salons, but thinks this new law is a step in the right direction.

Any new salons have to comply with the code right away, but existing salons licensed before October have 5 years to comply with the code. So in the year 2021, all New York salons will need to have the new ventilation systems.