Artificial nails fixing hazardous to health

It is natural for women to want to look good and the urge to maintain their beauty to the extent of using artifices on their bodies may be understandable.

Woe be to women who are fond of fixing artificial nails on their fingers and toes using superglue because they risk being exposed to cancer diseases.

A survey conducted by The Guardian on Sunday in various manicure and pedicure salons discovered that a number of young girls and women flood beauty parlours for their nails to be done, minding less on the kind of chemicals used to glue the nails.

However, Dr John Mkony the medical doctor and an expert in manicure and pedicure told The Guardian on Sunday that finger nails possess numerous blood veins that transport the superglue chemical products into the human body leading to health complications, specialists have warned.

In separate interviews with The Guardian on Sunday during the survey in different areas at Mwenge, Kijitonyama, Kinondoni and Sinza which are the most common places where women go for artificial nails, some women said that this was only a fashion which made them look more beautiful.

But an expert says the chemical used in superglue can easily endanger women lives because super glue was made purposely to join other items such as plastics and rubber and not to put on human skin.

Dr John Mkony at Muzdalifa hospital located at Mabibo Loyola in Dar es Salaam told this paper that “the glue which manicurist use can cause serious health problems to women.”

He explained that women who use the fake nails for a long time are likely to affect other body parts such as eyes, nose and their original nails.

“This is because of the fact that finger nails possess numerous blood veins that transport the chemical products into the human body,” he said.

He warned women that some salons are using a poisonous and illegal substance called MMA (Methyl Methacrylate) in their nails and it can cause serious damage to their natural nails.

Dr Isaac Maro, a health specialist at the Infectious Diseases Centre (IDC), was quoted by Guardian in 2013 as saying that the more women use artificial nails the more they get exposed to infections.

He had said the symptoms start by developing wounds and scratches that turn into cancer and warned women that they should not just rush into using things which they have no idea about, but should seek advice first on how they are used and the health benefits and risks.

A survey in various parts of Dar es Salaam established that, most women fix their nails at bus stops, salons and even at home.

Surprisingly, most women have little knowledge about the issue and do not even realise that they risk their life that much.

Jenista Paul, a customer at a Mwenge salon near the former daladala station says that she has been addicted to artificial nails after seeing her colleagues looked attractive in their artificial nails.

“I have been using them for two years, but I have not had any health problems,” she said.

But Amina Lufingo, a resident of Sinza, said she had stopped using the nails after being advised by her doctor on their side effects.
She feared that the glue used in many salons could be a source of cancer diseases.

It took this reporter one week to meet with a nail merchant especially those who vend on the streets cajoling women to fix artificial nails on their natural nails or polish them.

Shaban Maduhu popular known as ‘shebby’ admitted that he was using super glue to attach artificial nails on women after mixing it with special glue that comes with the artificial finger and toe nails.

He said that he likes to mix it so that to make it more stable and to avoid his clients from discovering it quickly.

“I do not know that super glue is bad for the health because I found other people doing this business long time a go and earn good money, that is why I prefer this business so that I could get enough dough,” he said.

“We are doing petty and cheap business simply to make ends meet; if we use the glue which other big salons use we would be obliged to raise the price” he said, adding:

“We usually fix artificial nails for Sh3,000 only unlike big salon which charge Sh 20,000 to 40,000 per customer.

According to him, he decided to follow women at their homes because they like to look good, like Jackline Wolper and Wema Sepetu (Tanzanian Actresses) but can not afford to go to big salons and pay that whooping amount.

He said, however, that there are many reasons why women want to get artificial nails. Some are going to weddings or reunion and they want to look sharp, others have trouble growing their nails long so that they want to get artificial nails.

This reporter was fortunate to visit one big Salon(name withheld) dealing in nails only, whose manicurist said that they do not use super glue but they use MMA which he believes is not bad for human health.

MMA is an ingredient sometimes found in liquid monomers used to make artificial nail enhancements. MMA is considered a safe ingredient for dental prostheses but a health hazard in the salon.

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