While health impacts such as rashes, headaches, dizziness and respiratory problems have been well-documented in salons, little research has been conducted on the long-term, chronic health impacts resulting from workplace exposures. Stories from workers of adverse reproductive outcomes, including spontaneous abortions, preterm births and low-birth weight, in addition to asthma and cancer, are not uncommon.  

In response to the paucity of research studies on nail salon worker health and safety, the Collaborative established a national Research Advisory Committee (RAC) consisting of experts in industrial hygiene, chemistry/biochemistry, toxicology, epidemiology, public health and environmental health sciences. The RAC  provides expertise and technical guidance on key research, policy advocacy and outreach efforts.

The RAC has established an active research agenda focused on  driving and supporting positive policy change and outreach efforts. The RAC promotes a research-to-action approach to ensure that research studies and discussion support policy and outreach efforts that directly benefit the workers. 

Several of the research studies done by members of the RAC focus on the community-based participatory research (CBPR) process and framework, where affected workers and other community advocates are actively engaged throughout the research process. The Collaborative is currently working in partnership with the Cancer Prevention Institute of California on a National Institute of Health research study focused on nail salon workers and owners. 

The RAC* is comprised of:

  • Ann Blake, PhD, Consultant
  • Lori Edwards, DrPH, MPH, BSN, APHN-BC, University of Maryland School of Nursing
  • Laurie Foster, Seattle and King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program
  • Paula Johnson, Phd, California Department of Public Health
  • Mark Lim, PhD, Consultant
  • Tuan Nguyen, MBA, CSP, CIH, ARM, State Compensation Insurance Fund
  • Peggy Reynolds, PhD, Cancer Prevention Institute of California
  • Cora Roelofs, ScD, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Alexandra Scranton, MS, Women’s Voices for the Earth
  • Swati Sharma, MS, San Francisco Department of the Environment
  • Mark Valenti, PhD, Analytical Sciences
  • Nerissa Wu, PhD, MPH, Biomonitoring California

*Note: The organizational affiliations of RAC members are listed for identification purposes only. While individual RAC members provide expert advice to the Collaborative and Alliance, their organizations and the members themselves may or may not endorse the Collaborative and Alliance’s activities.

The RAC is available to provide input on relevant research and science questions impacting the nail and beauty salon communities. If you or your organization would like to request input from the RAC, please download and complete this Research Advisory Committee Input Request form and email to Thu Quach at or Ann Blake at