NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Public Advocate Letitia James is calling for more regulation of New York City nail salons.

James and other officials held a news conference Friday at City Hall, calling for more state inspectors to oversee the city’s 2,000-plus nail salons. There are 5,000 nail salons across the state and only 32 inspectors overseeing all of them, James told 1010 WINS.

James said that workers are often exposed to hazardous chemicals, including formaldehyde, that can have serious effects with prolonged exposure.

“Respiratory problems, reproductive problems, as well as problems related to asthma and cancer,” James told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb.

James is introducing a bill to help nail salons pay for better ventilation and require the businesses to register with the city Health Department, which would be charged with developing guidelines about hazardous products and recommendations for safety practices.

The City Council is also considering a bill that would assign letter grades to nail salons.

That program would be similar to the system used for restaurants. An eatery given an “A” is considered cleaner than one given a “B” and so on.

The Independent Budget Office released a study that said such a program for nail salons would cost about $7 million a year.

It costs the city $18 million annually to inspect restaurants.

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