Category: Environmental Medicine

EP239-1 - Promoting Occupational Health Among Nail Salon Technicians: A Needs Assessment

Friday, Nov 24
1:15 PM – 1:30 PM

BACKGROUND: Nail technicians are prone to occupational skin disease, respiratory illness, musculoskeletal disorders, cancer, reproductive issues, infections, and stress. Many nail technicians in Toronto are Chinese immigrant women. The barriers to improving occupational health in this working population and their preferences for resource materials are not well understood.
SUMMARY OF WORK: This qualitative study aims to describe the occupational health concerns, barriers to improving workplace health, and perceived resource needs among Chinese immigrant nail technicians. Purposive sampling identified five immigrant Chinese women in the Toronto nail salon industry. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in Chinese and transcriptions underwent thematic analysis.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS: Nail technicians were concerned with chemical exposures. Barriers to addressing their workplace health concerns included a lack of self-protection knowledge, the desire to keep their job, and the precarious nature of salon work. Nail technicians would find print resources in simple language and that are visually pleasing to be helpful.

Discussion: Strengths of the study include the fact that participants were interviewed outside of their workplace by a Chinese investigator not part of the nail salon community. Limitations include the small sample size. Our findings suggest the importance of salon owner engagement in nail technician outreach initiatives.
CONCLUSION: Immigrant Chinese nail salon workers have a number of health concerns, including skin exposure to chemicals. Attitudes toward their job, salon owners, and how to cope with difficulties are barriers to addressing these health concerns. Findings from this study have informed resource development and knowledge dissemination among this vulnerable population.

Irene Chen

Resident Physician
University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Irene Chen is a first-year family medicine resident physician at the University of Toronto. She has a scholarly interest in knowledge translation, quality improvement, community-based research, and the medical humanities. In her spare time, she enjoys performing music and creative writing.

Irene Chen

Resident Physician
University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Irene Chen is a first-year family medicine resident physician at the University of Toronto. She has a scholarly interest in knowledge translation, quality improvement, community-based research, and the medical humanities. In her spare time, she enjoys performing music and creative writing.

Irene Chen

Resident Physician
University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Irene Chen is a first-year family medicine resident physician at the University of Toronto. She has a scholarly interest in knowledge translation, quality improvement, community-based research, and the medical humanities. In her spare time, she enjoys performing music and creative writing.