written by Elise Miller, EdM
This past week something rather remarkable happened: First, the New York Times published two major investigative pieces on the pervasive exploitation and occupational health hazards experienced by workers in the nail salon industry. And then the really astonishing part—Governor Cuomo of New York issued emergency measures two days later to combat the horrendous inequities and toxic chemical exposures that manicurists face. Rarely do we see such swift, decisive government action in response to reports highlighting environmental and social injustices—and rarely do we see the convergence of evidence-based science, skilled health advocacy, first-rate journalism, and responsive government result in such an immediate, positive outcome. Of course it will take much longer yet for large scale changes that fully protect these workers to take place, but this is an impressive first step.