Worksafe is proud to be co-sponsoring two pieces of legislation this year. One of them is AB 647 (Kalra), a bill that would make it easier for salon workers to access information about the products they use at work. We were in Sacramento this week with our co-sponsor, the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, to speak with legislators about this important issue.
Disinfectants, polishes, dyes, straighteners, and other beauty care products contain a multitude of chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer, allergies, respiratory, neurological, and reproductive harm. AB 647 will require manufacturers to translate Safety Data Sheets (SDS) about these products into Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean – and post them on a website that workers can access. This will enable salon workers and owners to better understand and avoid the health hazards of salon products.
More than 30 Vietnamese nail salon workers and owners joined the lobby day, some traveling from Central and Southern California to visit with state senators. We engaged with 32 of the 40 senators, and the majority of the meetings were conducted in Vietnamese.
Workers were especially excited to meet the bill’s author, Assemblymember Ash Kalra, who represents the 27th Assembly District which includes San Jose. Workers clapped as Kalra, the first Indian-American to serve in the California State Legislature, greeted them and thanked them in Vietnamese.
AB647 has successfully passed out of the Environmental Quality and Labor Committees and is expected to do well with bipartisan support. We are thrilled to be partnering with such dedicated workers and advocates to make it happen.