CPNP, ALLERGIES AND DUST EXTRACTION....WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN
UNDERSTANDING CHEMICALS & OVEREXPOSURE
A chemical is everything you can see & touch except electricity and light. Many people deem chemicals as bad and not good for you, but this isn’t true as all chemicals have a safe and unsafe level of exposure. Knowing and understanding the chemicals you work with and following manufacturers guidelines on safe levels will help prevent any overexposure.
Vapours in the air cause odours and rapidly evaporating liquids can give off large amounts of vapour. When working with your monomer ensure you keep the odours to a minimum by only using the amount you need for that client, dispose of any soiled towels in a lined metal bin, always replace the lid on your dappen dish as soon as you’ve finished using it.
When using gels ensure you are using the correct recommended lamp by your manufacturer. This ensures a full and proper cure.
All chemicals have a safe and unsafe level of exposure, Overexposure happens when you exceed the levels deemed as safe. Overexposure can affect both client and nail technician, this usually occurs when the individual is exposed repeatedly to a chemical over a long time. When using acrylics this is most likely to happen when unreacted product touches the skin and for gels it is usually due to uncured product sitting on the nail.
Skin irritation, itchiness of the skin & eyes can all be warning signs that overexposure has occurred, and if the use of the chemical continues it may cause the individual to become sensitive or allergic to it. If this occurs, it is recommended to then stop using that chemical, as you will have developed sensitivity to that particular product.
It is recommended that the client should seek medical advice if a reaction/sensitivity has occurred. When the reaction has subsided it may be possible to apply a different type of product. A test should be carried out first and recorded on their record card. For example: if a client becomes allergic to gel products then it’s likely that they will not be able to wear any type of gel products again, but acrylic may be suitable. If in doubt always send your client to get tested by their doctor before any treatment is performed.
A common thing many nail technicians do that could cause overexposure is wiping their brush on a paper towel and then leaning on it. Always be aware of this and ensure your paper towel is kept to the side of you not in front of you.
There are 3 ways that a chemical could enter your body and cause overexposure. These are classed as routes of entry:
- Inhalation: by breathing in vapours or dust.
Keep lids on pots when not in use, ensure adequate ventilation, dispose of waste correctly in metal bins with liners.
- Absorption: through contact with the skin.
Use the correct application techniques, decant products safely & correctly wearing suitable protective garments.
- Ingestion: by accidentally swallowing. Dust particles dropping onto food into uncovered drinks
ALWAYS Wash hands before eating and eat/drink away from your nail desk, use clean towels for every client, keep all products out of reach of children.
To become over exposed to a product and develop an allergy it usually means that there has been prolonged and repetitive contact with the skin.
Main reasons for this happening are:
- uncured or under-cured product due to incorrect cure time or incorrect lamp used
- Uncured dust product, this can happen when filling an under cured nail or when performing a soak off/removal of product
- Wiping the sticky residue from gels
- Using over sized acrylic brushes that hold a lot of liquid
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT OVEREXPOSURE & ALLERGIES
Use the correct nail lamp for your system.
- We often hear nail professionals asking ‘can I use the lamp I got online to cure XYZ gel’. The answer is no, any old lamp will not do. It needs to be a lamp matched to the system you are using to ensure a full cure- it might ‘feel’ and ‘look’ like your gel is fully cured but unless you are a chemist/manufacturer testing properly you simply cannot be sure.
- Some manufacturers work together and will provide recommendations on lamps that have been scientifically tested to properly their gel. For example my HD Professional nail systems brand do not sell a lamp but we are currently having testing done within a lab to be able to recommend which lamps our gel products will properly cure in.
- Product can appear to look and feel cured at just 50% cured. Under cured product is a leading cause of nail product allergy. If you don’t want to get an allergy, don’t chance it. Many people complain “I can’t get a lamp for every brand I use”, my answer to this would be to use less brands! Find one or two that offer a good range and invest in the brand properly -lamp and all. If you can’t afford to invest in a brand properly then please don’t do it at all, stick with one, it’s not worth the risk.
Do not touch uncured/under-cured product, this includes both gel and acrylic systems
- Whether shaping a brush with your fingers, wiping product off the skin with your own nail, leaning on the pad you have wiped your brush on or touching the skin around your nail with your brush during application… getting product on your skin can lead to allergy. Remember nail products are designed for use on the nails not the skin.
No one is perfect and on occasions a mistake may happen and you may get a small amount of product on the surrounding skin, don’t panic. Use a clean dry brush to remove it immediately.
- Don’t forget the tacky layer! The tacky film sitting on top of gel products is uncured product. This happens when the oxygen in the air inhibits curing. Don’t touch this with your fingers and ensure you wipe it off with care so as not to get any of the residue on to the clients skin.
Use a lint free wipe with gel cleanser and place the pad onto the nail. Press down and pull the pad from the cuticle area down towards the free edge, do not rub back and forth.
Use brands together in full
- (i.e same brand base/top/colour, same brand monomer liquid to polymer powder.)
- Brands make their products compatible with their own line, mixing brands can mean the products aren’t compatible with each other, were not chemists and should not mix chemicals or pretend we know best…it’ll be ok !! , Results of this can lead to under cured product.
Whilst different brands may use the same chemical ingredients, differing amounts of the individual components can make a big difference in compatibility.
Powders, for example, have varying amounts of curing agents in them, with the liquid controlling the speed of cure. These are balanced by brands to work together, so if a tech mixes a powder containing less curing agent with a monomer from a different brand that sets slowly, the cure will take a lot longer, meaning the tech will file under cured product and the client will wear under cured product. If used with its own powder the slow set monomer will ensure proper curing in the slower timing by having more curing agents in its powder to offset the slow setting speed. As techs we wont know how much curing agent is in our products to make that call ourselves. Contact with uncured product can then over time lead to allergy for client and/or tech.
- A Catalyst is needed to control the speed of the reaction.An initiator is needed to start the reaction.
- Liquid monomer usually contains a mixture of monomers, stabilizers, catalysts, cross linkers and other additives.
- Powder usually contains polymers, copolymers, initiator, pigments and other additives.
- The contents & amounts of the different ingredients do vary from brand to brand and that is why it is important not to mix different brands of liquid monomers and polymer powders together. Each brand of monomers and polymers have been specifically made to work together.
Perfect your mix ratio.
- Many techs work too wet but using beads that are not the correct ratio means the product wont be able to fully cure leading to under cured dust landing on your skin during filing.
- Usually coloured powders are used wetter than core powders to enable time to create a design. Every brand is different so always check with the manufacturer on how to correctly use their products and jump on a class they may offer so you can get hands on practical training to ensure your using it correctly.
- Good quality, thick gloves will protect you from accidental touching of the skin however it is most important to work safely & correctly. You can get barrier creams like ‘gloves in a bottle’ for additional protection if you feel you need it. Wear gloves when using or decanting products. Ideally nitrile gloves and they should be to EN 374-3 standard or higher, although these can sometimes be hard to find, so look for a min 0.19mm thick glove Or wear 2 x thinner gloves. If you wear gloves ensure you change your gloves between each customer.
- Acrylic dust particles are usually heavier and will drop down, into your working space whilst gel dust particles are much finer and stay in your breathing space. Whether hand filing or e filing we recommend you look into dust extraction.
- Consider salon ventilation so that dust/vapors in your working zone are extracted to the outside or pass through a filter system – also called a source capture system. Source capture systems should include dust and vapor filters (active carbon filter or equivalent)
- Each company will have a variety of extraction units available to suit the individuals needs based on the amount of work they do, its always best to do your own research and ask the supplier for their advice on which is best.
Keep your work area tidy.
- Always ensure your nail desk is kept clean and free from dust. Change your paper towels after each client and if necessary after each stage of the service. It is very easy to forget and you’ll end up resting your arm on the dust and/or into paper towel that has had monomer wiped on it and develop anallergic reaction there.
If you wipe monomer in your brush onto a pad/paper towel, ensure that it is kept to the side of you away from where you rest your arms. When you have finished your application always throw the dirty pad/paper towel straight into a metal lined bin, always make sure you’re wearing the appropriate protective clothing. At the end of the day make sure you remove the bin bags from the salon. Never pour monomer or acetone down the sink as this can melt pipes and cause problems to water life.
Use legal, registered products.
- In July 2013 a new EU regulation came into force, which meant that every product classed as a cosmetic must be registered on the CPNP. CPNP is the Cosmetic Product Notification Portal. Nail enhancement products are classed as a cosmetic, which means they should be registered on the CPNP. Currently access to the CPNP is restricted to Manufacturers and other relevant government bodies and not available to nail techs/general public. This is mainly due to patented formulations etc that are secret to the manufacturer.
- This was introduced to ensure that only safe, tested and compliant products are put on the market for sale. Any product that is not registered is deemed unsafe, as it would be impossible to know if illegal ingredients have been used, as there would be no information recorded.
- One way of checking that your brand/product is compliant and legally registered for sale is to ask your supplier for proof of this and/or
- Check the product has all the following information on the labels and/or packaging and/or leaflet within the packaging
- Name and address of the responsible person, this can be abbreviated and often reads as RP
- Country of origin, example MADE IN UK
- Date of minimum durability OR period after opening, here’s an example of what the symbol may look like. This means once opened, use within 12 months.
- Nominal Content, net weight followed by this symbol
- Precautions and warnings. This should include directions on how to use the product safely
- Batch number.
- Product functions. What the product is and does.
- Ingredients list also known as INCI list. This should list the ingredients in decreasing order of weight.
Other legal requirements are that the labels are in the language of the country they are sold in. For example if you have purchased a product from a supplier and you cannot understand what it says due to it being in a different language, this is not in line with EU regulations. The label content must be translated and readable for the country it is being sold in.
Other caution symbols may also be required depending on the products ingredients. Common symbols are:
If the products you’re purchasing do not have the above information on the labels then the product is unlikely to be registered on the CPNP.
Please be aware that whilst the above label information may be present on your product it does not always guarantee that a product has been registered but it is a good indication that the brand/supplier is compliant, which is why its always best to purchase your products from a reputable supplier.
Using UN registered/non compliant products on your clients ultimately can make your insurance null an void should an issue arise and/or a claim be made against you by a client.
What if you think you have already developed an allergy.
- Visit your local GP and discuss your symptoms, you should be able to get an allergy test.
- Once you have determined which ingredients you are allergic to, find products that don’t contain them. This information can be found on the labels of the products and/or the MSDS also called an SDS. These are available from the manufacturer and most will have this information as a download from their website.
- If you haven’t already, follow the advice given in this manual. An allergy to nail products could lead to you not being able to do your job and also not being able to wear nails.
- Prevention is better than Cure !!
Client consultation & record cards
- Ultimately the purpose of a client consultation is to determine the individual needs of the client and personalise a service specifically for their needs but it is also an integral part of keeping track of on-going treatments and recording any problems that may of occurred. The initial consultation should be thorough and recorded on a client record card in which both the client and the technician should sign before any treatment may go ahead. As a client’s health and circumstances can change between treatments, it is also important to ensure the record card is updated on every visit to the salon. This client consultation card will need to be provided in the unlikely event that an insurance claim should arise. Please also remember to store client record cards in accordance to the General Data Protection Regulation act 2018.
A sample record card is provided for your reference, but please remember to look into this carefully as privacy and retention policies are also needed when keeping clients data.
The following list is an example of information that should be included in a record card.
- Name, address and mobile/home phone numbers (CHECK GDPR REGS)
- Birth date or age range (MUST BE 16 OR OVER FOR MOST TREATMENTS)
- Doctors details including address & contact number (ONLY IF NEEDED)
- Occupation, interests, hobbies & sports
- Medical history, medication, allergies, any allergic reactions to nail products before
- Any homecare nail products used
- Have they had nail treatments before, what kind were they
- Condition of the nails & skin at first appointment
- Client & technician signatures
- General notes & comments
- Dates of treatments with notes of what was done
- Recommended services
- Any contra-indications or contra-actions
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Information extracted from IPTC