In October 2016, the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative was awarded the Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. The California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative was formed in 2005 out of a growing concern for the health, safety and rights of nail salon and cosmetology workforce. The Collaborative addresses reproductive and environmental justice and health issues facing the community through outreach and leadership development, policy, research and movement building.

The Roy Family Award is presented every two years to celebrate an outstanding public-private partnership project that enhances environmental quality through novel and creative approaches. In partnership with local counties and cities throughout California, the California Healthy Nail Salon Program addresses the environmental health and justice issues faced by workers in the salon industry and works to standardize safe, pollution prevention salon practices that can be implemented nationwide and globally. The Program focuses on the reduction of carcinogenic and reproductive toxins in the workplace by establishing locally-legislated programs that educate and empower salon employees and incentivize salons to reduce chemical exposures and protect the health of the employees, customers, and the environment.

By fostering partnerships on several levels—individual (salon workers), community (organizations and groups), local (counties, cities, policymakers), and national (federal and government agencies)—the Collaborative has brought together diverse entities to implement an innovative and growing program, and in the process, has brought national attention to salon worker environmental justice, health, safety, and rights.

Building on the success of the Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Programs at the city and county level, on September 24, Governor Jerry Brown signed California Assembly Bill 2125, requiring the California Department of Toxic Substances Control to create guidelines for local governments to voluntarily implement Healthy Nail Salon Recognition programs.

EPHC has been proud to serve on the Collaborative’s Research Advisory Committee for many years, and looks forward to additional work finding safer alternatives to nail salon products in partnership with the Cancer-Free Economy Network’s Market Shift pilot project efforts in 2017.