Vietnamese-owned Nail Salons to Benefit from $100,000 'Toxic Beauty' Grant

As part of its Environmental Justice Program, EPA has awarded a $100,000 Collaborative Problem-Solving Grant to the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle, which says the money will be used specifically to help clear the air, reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, and educate the staff and patrons of more than 70 Vietnamese-owned and operated nail salons in King County, Washington. It is one of 10 grants awarded to community-based, nonprofit organizations across the country.

Called the "Toxic Beauty" Project, the coalition is focusing efforts to improve human health and the environment in the nail salons located in low-income communities and communities of color in the Seattle and South Seattle areas, showing salon owners how to achieve healthier air inside their establishments through behavior changes of workers and increased awareness of safer alternatives for the owners themselves.

"We are grateful that the EPA has funded this project, which will address a key environmental justice issue in our community," said Charlie Cunniff, ECOSS executive director. "ECOSS and our partner, the Community Coalition for Environmental Justice, will use multilingual outreach to educate nail salon owners, technicians, and clients. We hope that through this collaboration, we can help businesses make changes that will result in a healthier environment for all."

Elin Miller, EPA's NW Regional Administrator in Seattle, said, "This project is about protecting people where they live. It will help South Seattle salon owners, technicians, and neighbors make changes to reduce their exposure to nail salon toxics."

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