Original Paper

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 353-361

First online:

Results from a Community-based Occupational Health Survey of Vietnamese-American Nail Salon Workers

  • Cora RoelofsAffiliated withDepartment of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell Email author 
  • , Lenore S. AzaroffAffiliated withDepartment of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • , Christina HolcroftAffiliated withDepartment of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • , Huong NguyenAffiliated withViet AID
  • , Tam DoanAffiliated withNew Ecology Inc

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A community-university collaborative partnership assessed self-reported work-related health effects and environmental factors in Boston’s Vietnamese immigrant community via an interviewer-assisted survey. Seventy-one nail technicians responded. Musculoskeletal disorders, skin problems, respiratory irritation and headaches were commonly reported as work-related, as were poor air quality, dusts and offensive odors. The reporting of a work-related respiratory symptom was significantly associated with the reporting of exposure factors such as poorer air quality. Absence of skin disorders was associated with glove use and musculoskeletal symptoms were associated with years worked as a nail technician. Work-related health effects may be common in nail salon work. Chemical and musculoskeletal hazards should be reduced through product and equipment redesign.


Immigrant Occupational health Nail salon Vietnamese-American