EPA

City steps in where state fails to regulate toxic manis and pedis

Kyung Jin Lee, SF Public Press — May 23 2011 - 2:56pm

WORKING CONDITIONS: San Francisco program pushes nail salons to use safer chemicals

Heidi Hoang was pregnant when she first started working at Nails by Linda in San Francisco’s Sunset District. “There’s a lot of people who say, ‘You have to be careful with this kind of job. Maybe, no more baby,’” Hoang, now the salon manager, said. “I was so nervous.” Nail salon workers, many of whom are Vietnamese immigrants and refugees with limited English skills, have long endured toxic chemicals that emanate from products they use to beautify their clientele. The chemicals not only produce noxious fumes, but workers often complain of itchy skin, rashes and headaches after prolonged exposure to the substances. In an effort to combat the problem, San Francisco is developing guidelines to encourage nail salons to go green. In the absence of federal or state regulations protecting salon workers from toxic exposure at work, the city is working to educate salon owners about healthier alternatives.

Test results of city sludge don’t satisfy critics

Alison Hawkes, SF Public Press/Way Out West — Aug 18 2010 - 12:58pm

When activists dumped processed sewage compost on the steps of San Francisco City Hall in March, the stunt was meant to draw national attention toward a supposed hypocrisy afoot in the greenest city in America. The city immediately stopped the giveaway of sewage sludge, a mixture of treated sewage and yard wastes, and ordered a series of expensive tests to prove its safety. The Public Utilities Commission said the compost was no worse than commercial fertilizers. But opponents say the fight is far from over.

San Francisco less progressive than it thinks, says outgoing green chief

Victoria Schlesinger, The Public Press — Dec 2 2009 - 3:46pm

After eight years as the director of the city’s Department of the Environment, Jared Blumenfeld is leaving the position in January for a bigger job.

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