The Dedham Health Department is taking steps toward reducing toxic chemical exposure in local nail salons and encouraging them to "go green," according to a department statement.
Dedham joins six surrounding communities in promoting safe product use and behavior by utilizing a $25,000 grant from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
"Many people are not aware of the health hazards salon employees can be exposed to in their everyday work," the statement reads.
Prolonged exposure to the chemicals can cause headaches, dizziness, respiratory problems, skin rashes and sometimes reproductive health hazards, according to health officials.
"Our main concern lies with nail tech employees, male and female, who are often at reproductive age and may not speak English as a first language but spend many hours of their day surrounded by toxic chemicals," said health officials.
The six-community initiative will focus on more than 100 nail salons.
Local health officials will visit salons in Dedham to get a better understanding of problems experienced or general knowledge employees have on the topic of environmental health and associated hazards.
The six communities - Dedham, Milton, Canton, Norwood, Westwood and Needham - will host a regional conference to provide information to consumers and free samples of safer products to use.