POLL: Will Maplewood, South Orange Still Go to Nail Salons after NY Times Article?

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The investigative story posted this week by The New York Times that uncovers the sometimes dangerous and illegal world of nail salon workers in the region has caused quite a stir, including the implementation of emergency measures by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to protect workers in that state.

VillageGreenNJ.com asked South Orange and Maplewood officials if there had been reaction in the two towns.

South Orange Township Administrator Barry Lewis said the Village had not received any calls from residents on the issue. In terms of safe working conditions and pay issues, Lewis said those are “so comprehensively regulated at the Federal and State levels (and because those regulatory schemes could pre-empt any local regulations), it is unlikely that the Village would venture into regulating these businesses beyond the land use/zoning component.”

Maplewood Health Officer Robert Roe said he had not received any complaints from residents about possible illegal immigrants at nail salons, but said that he does occasionally receive complaints about strong odors from nail salon businesses “that turn off their ventilation in the winter to conserve heat or summer to conserve cold air.”

Roe said that he was “also concerned about the safety of the workers at these businesses.  I do not know of any research showing that nail salon workers have any specific health risks, but it seems possible to me that they may be at risk given the close contact they have with customers and a wide assortment of chemicals.”

Roe said that hair and nail salons are licensed by the State of New Jersey by the Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling, which has an office in Newark.

There are five nail salons in South Orange, according to South Orange Village Center Alliance executive director Bob Zuckerman.

Julie Doran of the Maplewood Village Alliance said there were two nail salons in the Village and three on Springfield Avenue (in addition to hair salons that also provide manicures and pedicures).

Has The New York Times investigation affected how you feel about getting your nails done? Will you change your habits – perhaps going to more expensive salons where working conditions and pay might be better, or even stop getting your nails done entirely?

Take our poll:

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