There are thousands of nail salons in New York City, working hard to keep New Yorkers looking great. But long hours of exposure to nail polish, lacquers, and other chemicals can be dangerous for salon workers. Many nail technicians are recent immigrants and unfamiliar with their labor rights or how to protect their health in the workplace.

CUP worked with Adhikaar and designers Welcome Workshop to create Healthy Salons For All, a guide for nail salon workers and customers. The poster illustrates safe workplace practices and important worker rights, and provides guidance in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Nepali. Adhikaar launched the project in May 2015 in a training for salon workers, and will distribute the poster through its allies in the citywide Healthy Salons For All campaign.

Get your copy of the poster here.

Resources & Links

Adhikaar, meaning rights in Nepali, is a New York-based nonprofit organization working with the Nepali-speaking community to promote human rights and social justice for all.

Welcome Workshop is a collaborative between Anny Oberlink and Maggie Predergast. Located on a roof in New York City, they design, illustrate, and silkscreen.

Healthy Salons For All is a campaign of nail salon workers, advocates, and customers working together to create a healthier nail salon industry.

Making Policy Public is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). CUP partners with policy advocates and graphic designers to produce foldout posters that explain complicated policy issues, like this one.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, A Blade of Grass, the North Star Fund, and public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Michael Anderson, Goma Yonjan Gurung, Nirmala Gurung, Steven Houang, Song Kim, Yuma Limbu, Valeria Mogilevich, Margarita Nuñez, Anna Pelavin, Mårten Söderblom Saarela, Mark Torrey, Sandy Xu


  • CUP
  • Christine Gaspar
  • Sarah Lidgus
    • Adhikaar
    • Advocacy Partner
    • Narbada Chhetri
    • Raji Manjari Pokhrel
    • Luna Ranjit
    • Welcome Workshop
    • Designers
    • Anny Oberlink
      Maggie Prendergast


    Five Ways to Help Nail Salon Workers
    • Jacobin Magazine
    • May 18, 2015

    Adhikaar, based in Woodside, Queens, organizes in Nepali communities and has been running a campaign on the health and safety problems faced by nail salon workers. They have produced a pamphlet in collaboration with the Center for Urban Pedagogy with advice for both workers and customers at nail salons — including tips like “Be patient!” in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Nepali.

    Governor Cuomo Orders Inspections of New York Nail Salons
    • The Village Voice
    • May 11, 2015

    Partnering with the Center for Urban Pedagogy, Adhikaar has created a poster for salon owners to display in their places of business. With text in English, Chinese, Nepali, Spanish, and Korean, the poster includes health and safety information for both workers and patrons.

    How Can You Get an Ethical Manicure? Support Worker Organizing
    • The Nation
    • May 11, 2015

    On the workers’ side, the Nepali community organization Adhikaar just published a colorful pamphlet—designed in collaboration with the Center for Urban Pedagogy—to educate communities about both public-health and labor-rights issues in the sector. The cartoon graphics, designed for accessibility, present general advice on workplace hygiene, health and safety, guidance on labor laws for workers, and advice for customers (“Be generous—tip at least 20%”).

    Your Ethics or Your Manicure
    • WNYC
    • May 11, 2015

    Brian Lehrer mentions CUP’s Healthy Salons For All poster during his interview with Sarah Maslin Nir!