Several Bryan-College Station nail salons have found themselves under the microscope.
On November 15 and 16, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation or TDLR conducted an inspection of nine nail salons following an anonymous complaint.
Only one of the salons, Nail Spa at 2500 Texas Avenue in College Station, had no violations and is in compliance with all sanitation requirements.
There were 56 violations in all found during the inspection of the other eight, ranging from the use of prohibited instruments and chemicals to failure to properly sanitize or sterilize equipment and utensils.
"When we find credible evidence of unsanitary conditions at a salon we will act quickly and decisively," said William Kuntz, TDLR's executive director. "The sanitation rules we've adopted are meant to protect customers from the risk of infection. Failure to follow the guidelines creates an undue risk for the public. No one should have to risk their health for a pedicure."
TDLR originally received information from an anonymous source about conditions at the salons a few days before the inspections.
An interview with the complainant provided enough information to determine that conditions in the salons potentially posed an immediate threat to consumers.
Investigators found numerous illegal instruments at the eight salons, including Credo blades, which are instruments similar to cheese slicers that are used to slice skin from a client's foot. Salons and salon employees are prohibited from using or even possessing these blades on the premises. Other apparent violations include failure to clean and sanitize instruments and equipment prior to their use; reuse of instruments designed for a single application, such as disposable nail files; failing to clean and to keep required records for the cleaning of foot spas; and allowing unlicensed individuals to provide cosmetology services.
"Allowing unlicensed, untrained individuals to provide nail services with unsanitary instruments and equipment is a recipe for disaster," Kuntz said. "It's an infection looking for a place to happen."
TDLR will not release the names of the salons during their on-going investigation.
The salons will have time to appeal, but according to the state agency, the violations will mostly likely stay.
The investigation is expected to wrap up within the next couple of weeks, then the name of the salons will be released.