Study in 2000 Found Bacteria Prevalent in California Nail Salons
Here's an update to my post on Paula Abdul's nail infection acquired during a manicure.
The CDC has published a report by health researchers who tested California nail salons for bacteria, back in 2000. They swabbed 30 footbaths in 18 nail salons from five counties, and found mycobacteria in 29 (97%). (Mycobacteria produce boils and other skin infections.)Fifty percent of the nail salons tested had never cleaned behind their footspas' debris screen with any disinfectant. The researchers theorized that the mycobacteria were introduced from the municipal tap water, then grew in the skin and hair debris at the bottom of the units.
They also found that women who had shaved their legs prior to pedicures using the footbaths had a higher incidence of mycobacterial infection, but that some who had not shaved still developed infections.
Following several outbreaks of nail salon-caused infections in 2000, "The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology adopted new regulations in May 2001 requiring nail salons to follow specific cleaning and disinfection procedures to ensure that their footspa equipment is properly cleaned and maintained."