HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- A Connecticut lawmaker is proposing a new license for nail technicians.
When she was presented with the idea, State Rep. Jillian Gilchrest thought regulating nail technicians in Connecticut made sense.
“Connecticut is currently the only state that doesn't regulate nail salons,” Gilchrest said.
However, she was floored by what happened next.
“Calls, emails, Facebook posts, who once they see the bills, they're so pleased because they've had an infection in their foot for two years,” Gilchrest said.
Infections are just one of the issue nail tech licensing hopes to avoid.
The business is also a frequent target of human traffickers.
“Currently in the state of Connecticut, someone just has to go to their local town hall and say they want to open a business and say they want to open a nail salon. So, we want to make sure the business owner themselves is trained and to make sure the nail technicians receive training,” Gilchrest said.
Barbara Gigliotti, supervising sanitarian for the Central Connecticut Health District (CCHD), said she thinks the licensing is an excellent idea.
“I think it really would be a benefit for the technicians themselves, and certainly for the customers,” Gigliotti said.
However, Gilchrest’s proposal is just that right now, an idea.
According to Gigliotti, in the CCHD’s member towns, nail salons do need a license to operate.
“We do an annual inspection, that means we go in once a year checking for basic sanitation,” Gigliotti said.
Many health districts do not license salons or do annual inspections, instead only responding to complaints.
Gigliotti said she does that too.
“The worst case is when somebody comes down with a fungus or infection in their nails,” Gigliotti said.
When asked what customers should look out for, Gigliotti said a strong chemical smell is a bad because it suggests poor ventilation.
You also want to see a clean work area, a technician who washes their hands in front of each customer, single use tools, and good cleaning.
“Any equipment they use on you should be new or clean, if they are taking emery boards or sanding blocks out of a drawer and they have white nail dust on them, that's a red flag,” Gigliotti said.
Another red flag in the Central Connecticut Health District of Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Newington and Berlin is a UV sanitizer.
They're ineffective and used improperly, so they're not allowed here.
There really are many differences from place to place.
In Manchester, they don't license salons yet, but they're starting a program this spring.
Middletown does have a license, but says complaints in their district are rare.
If you have a regular nail spot, your best bet is to call your local health district to see if their record comes back clean.