Do Air Purifiers Improve Nail Salon Air Quality?


Do Air Purifiers Improve Nail Salon Air Quality?

Posted by FiltrScience on 04/25/2022

Do Air Purifiers Improve Nail Salon Air Quality?

We all love the opportunity to take a break from reality, enjoy some pampering, and appreciate a nice manicure. We put our phones away and let the nail technician take over. What a lovely break… Until we realize that nail salon air quality is not the best.

Unfortunately, chemicals are a necessary evil in many nail products. They are used to strengthen nails, color the polish, improve the length they stay on, remove other products, and more. They are the reason for that very distinct chemically, polish smell in so many nail salons.

While we notice the smell, we don’t always think much of it. We’ve been conditioned to associate that smell with a relaxing manicure, not the health impact prolonged exposure to these products can have on our bodies.



Nail Salon Air Quality During Services

A recent study revealed that those distinct smells pack a punch. They are a sign of exposure to chemicals and poor air quality in nail salons. 

The study measured the total volatile organic compound (TVOC) and PM2.5 concentrations in 21 different nail salons. These are tiny pollutants in the air that can impact our health when we are exposed to them through breathing them in or coming into contact with our eyes. Another form of exposure is skin contact, but this usually only sees reactions when there is a substantial amount of product on you – not just particles.

The study found that it did not matter if you were in the part of the nail salon that was not conducting services. If the chemicals were being used in one area, they affected the air quality throughout the whole building.

They measured the PM2.5 and TVOC concentrations when services were being performed and when the salon was idle. PM2.5 concentrations were measured at around 10 µg/m3 (micrograms of gaseous pollutant per cubic meter) when the salon was idle, but increased to 25 µg/m3 when the products were in use.

The TVOC readings revealed that levels were nearly zero when no products were being used. But when the salon became active, TVOC levels rose to nearly 12,000 ppb (parts per billion).

Unfortunately, this puts the air in the Unhealthy range of the Air Quality Index (AQI).

Not only are there pollutants in the air, they tend to be from chemicals with known negative health effects on humans.


A man and two women stand in front of a checklist and an umbrella that is shielding them from the symbols of negative health effects from poor nail salon air quality.

Health Impacts Of Nail Salon Air Quality

The chemical responsible for the notable smell of the nail polish is Toluene. This is a colorless liquid that turns into vapor when exposed to room temperature air. It is present in paints, varnishes, nail polishes, glues/adhesives, rust preventives and printing inks.

The Occupational Health And Safety Administration (OSHA) listed it as a common chemical found in nail salons that can have negative impacts on your health. These effects can be mild, such as eye irritation, dizziness, and headaches, but can also be much more serious, such as anxiety, confusion, birth defects, and miscarriage. A 2021 study even linked a strong correlation between thyroid cancer and exposure to high levels of toluene. 

This is just one of the common chemicals found in nail products. Sadly, there are many – even known carcinogens – and we just don’t know about it.

How To Improve Nail Salon Air Quality

So now it is clear that nail salon air quality leaves quite a lot to be desired. How can we affordably, feasibly improve the indoor air quality so we can continue to support local businesses and feel good about it? 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says indoor air filtration is an effective way to clean air and reduce indoor air pollutants. 

But not all air purifiers are created equal! Some are designed to filter only gasses while others only filter particles. Many work with simple filters that only filter out large pollutants – not the small particles that pose a real threat to our health.

Thus, to determine if an air purifier will work, we need to look at one primary factor: filtration.

One of the types of pollutants we mentioned earlier, PM2.5, refers to fine particulate matter that measures 2.5 micrometers in diameter. We know that particles of this size increase exponentially when nail products are in use in a nail salon. We also want to minimize maintenance and prevent the time cost of constantly tending to the air purifier.


Pollutants goes into one side of an air filter but come out clean on the other side.


Can Air Purifiers Improve Nail Salon Air Quality?

So when we look at an air purifier’s filtration, we need to ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Will it filter out particles as small as 2.5 micrometers (or microns)?
  • Does it filter gasses or particles?
  • How long will it last?
  • Will it appropriately filter air in a room the size of the nail salon?


Here is the good news: an air purifier that meets all of those requirements definitely exists.

The Filtr Revolution was designed by the world’s clean air experts using a HEPA filter. A High Efficiency Particulate Air filter (HEPA) removes 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns – much smaller than needed in a nail salon! HEPA filters are the epitome of filters currently available and, for truly clean air, we don’t recommend an air purifier that does not use one.

What we do recommend is using a filter designed specifically for spaces like a nail salon: a large open space that really needs some clean air. The Revolution was designed with working, public spaces in mind. 

With a long-lasting filter, total system efficiency of 99.995%, and removal efficiency of 99.78% down to 0.023 microns, the Revolution will give you the peace of mind you need to focus on other things. 

We firmly believe you shouldn’t need to worry about the air you are breathing in. There are too many other distractions in life! That is why we’ve built this tool that brings cleanroom grade air quality into your nail salon.


Do you want to know if the Revolution is right for your space?

An image of the Filtr Revolution, a cleanroom grade air purifier that can help gyms get the benefits of outdoor exercise indoors.

You can learn more about it here!


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