American Idol judge and unhappy manicure consumer Paula Abdul spoke passionately yesterday in favor of legislation before the California Senate Business and Professions Committee that would establish safety standards for manicure and pedicure equipment and rewrite state regulations mandating that nail shops follow sanitary practices.
In urging legislators to pass the bill, which was sponsored by San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Leland Yee, Abdul said of a visit to a Studio City nail salon in April 2004: "This horrific and debilitating condition was left under my thumb nail as a direct result of the salon using non-sanitized instruments. This type of infection has caused not only me, but thousands of women the expense of medical attention, loss of wages, loss of sleep, traumatic medical procedures, fear of returning to nails salons, and in my case and many others, emergency surgeries."
In 1999 and 2000, an outbreak due to improper cleaning of pedicure equipment at a salon in Watsonville, California caused mycobacterial infections in over 100 women. In November 2004, another outbreak led to over 100 complaints of leg lesions and infections in San Jose.
Assemblyman Yee proclaimed, "It is imperative that we protect the health and safety of all nail salon consumers. Clearly this is a public safety issue that needs to be addressed. To prevent another outbreak, I urge the State Senate and the Governor to quickly pass and sign this bill into law.”
Abdul continued her testimony, "Being a professional dancer, I'm no stranger to pain, but this time the pain was so excruciating that even my hair touching my thumb caused me to scream ... With an open heart and a selfless agenda, I implore you to pass this bill," she concluded.
The bill is expected to pass in committee and come before the full Senate sometime in the next two weeks.