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Hochul again delays air filter mandate in nail salons, citing pandemic’s impact

Customers at nail salons may have to keep that mask on — but not just for COVID. Citing the economic impact of the pandemic, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration is postponing for six months a rule requiring nail salons to install ventilation systems to help prevent manicurists and customers from inhaling harmful chemicals used in nail products. It’s the second time the state has delayed the date of implementation during the COVID-19 outbreak. The first postponement was issued last October. “Due to the pandemic many businesses were required to close or significantly reduce capacity which resulted in economic losses. As a result, some businesses are not able to meet the existing deadline and would be potentially forced to close,” the Department of State said in reporting the delayed implementation in the NYS Register. “Extending the current deadline by 6 months will help businesses remain open, recover losses and come into compliance with existing requirements, while also protecting employees from potential job losses.” The nail salon owner must pay the costs to install the ventilators. Nail salons were given five years to comply with new air filter edict, first announced in 2016. State Attorney General Letitia James made workplace safety in nail salons a top priority when she previously served as the New York City public advocate. She issued a report in 2014 titled, “How Safe Is Your Nail Salon?” and complained about an inadequate number of inspectors to check on them. “There’s a toxic trio of chemicals that are found in many nail salons that have been linked to reproductive harm, respiratory problems, asthma and cancer,” she said of formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate and toluene.

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