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Napkins Safe; Beauty Salons Disappointing
To coincide with International Women's Day today, the city Health Supervision Institute yesterday concluded a week-long inspection of local beauty salons and women's accessories, such as sanitary napkins.

During the campaign, launched to ensure the safety and health of local women, 195 beauty parlors and outlets producing and selling women's articles were checked. Of the 1,070 kinds of goods inspected, 52 were found illegal, while 22 outlets had problems.

Officials said that while most sanitary-napkin makers had adopted a regulated production system, many salons actually posed a threat to women's health.

A check of all 62 kinds of sanitary napkins available in Shanghai revealed that all meet the nation's regulations on bacteria control.

Of the 21 producers and 184 samples inspected, all met the disinfection standard.

Though women may feel relieved by the results, officials warned that beauty parlors, places meant to enhance facial and body features, pose a danger to customers because of poor disinfection facilities, dubious cosmetics and staff quality.

Yesterday, institute officials visited the Jingdu Weiwei Hairdressing Co, located on Hengshan Road, and found that none of its "imported Swiss cosmetics" carried import or health permits.

In addition, the salon offers breast augmentation based on pressing certain body points, a traditional Chinese medical technique.

"This is obviously a medical service and the salon doesn't have a license for medical facilities. In addition, the staff are not professionals," said Zhang Wei, director of the institute's Inspection Department.

Zhang revealed that punishment for using dubious cosmetics is confiscation of all profits and punitive fines of up to three times the profit. For per-forming medical services without a permit, the fine is between 1,000 (US$120) and 10,000 yuan.

The institute found that some salons used disinfectant products past their expiration date. "Many salons just use alcohol or similar liquids to disinfect the customer's skin, which has no guarantee of safety.

Also, they don't change their towels, which can become a mode for transmitting some infectious diseases," said Gu Zhenghua, an institute spokesman.

(eastday.com March 8, 2002)

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