'It is not safe' - skin cancer surgeon wants gel and UV lamp manicures banned

A New Zealand skin cancer surgeon says gel and UV light nail manicures should be banned and studies need to be done in Australasia to show people that they're unsafe.

Dr Maria Reeves was speaking on Seven Sharp, which reported using UV lamps for gel manicures became a multi-billion dollar industry within a couple of years, but the safety of the treatments is in contention.

Dr Reeves said she would advise people against the gell, or shellac manicure, "because nobody has proved to me yet that it's safe".

"The evidence now is showing me the opposite - it is not safe." 

There's currently no proven link between the nail lamps and skin cancer in New Zealand.

They've been available here less than a decade, and Dr Reeves' concern is that we will see the damage turning into cancers down the track.

She said there's evidence outside New Zealand of "a type of skin cancer coming out because of shellac". 

Reports relied on by the nail industry claim the UVA light lamps are safer than the sun , while other research states the UV nail lamps can cause DNA damage.

If I genuinely believed that this posed a risk to my clients, I wouldn't offer it as a service - Serenity Fox, nail technician

"We need to do studies in New Zealand and Australia to show the people, our people, that this actually causes problems," Dr Reeves said.

Nail technician Serenity Fox says she would never put her clients at risk.

"UVA light is perfectly safe. I don't want to say perfectly safe but you'd have to be sitting under a lamp for about six hours in order to get the equivalent of 10 minutes in the sun," Ms Fox said.

"If I genuinely believed that this posed a risk to my clients, I wouldn't offer it as a service," she said, adding that there's enough research to give her confidence to provide the service.

Ms Fox said if the treatment led to skin cancers ,"I would have expected to have some sort of throw back consequences myself from being exposed to all these products and lights".

The industry's advice states that if a client expresses anxiety a technician could cover the hands or offer broad-spectrum sunscreen. 

The Skin Cancer Foundation's advice is that the client apply their own broad spectrum sunscreen half an hour before the treatment so it has time to soak in.

A nail stylist, however, says the UV light used is perfectly fine to use. Source: Seven Sharp

Two more retail chains caught underpaying staff - Briscoes and Hannahs

Footwear chain Hannahs has admitted staff aren't paid for overtime after stores close, while Briscoes' boss doesn't know how many of his employees historically haven't been paid for the last 15 minutes of their shifts each day.

The companies are the latest to be caught underpaying their minimum wage workers, after it was revealed Smiths City and Spotlight had been forcing employees to attend a 15 minute daily morning meeting unpaid.

Some Auckland Briscoes staff last night noticed on their online roster that all their shifts had been extended by 15 minutes, after management realised they weren't being paid for the on average 15 minutes it takes to cash-up at the end of the day.

"There's been quite a few people that've put [a picture of their changed roster] up on their Snapchat," an Auckland Briscoes employee said, speaking to Checkpoint on the condition of anonymity.

Checkpoint alerted Briscoes managing director Rod Duke to the roster changes, after he was this morning reassured by management that the retail chain had paid all staff for the hours they have worked.

"That's absolutely appalling, completely against company practice, and I'm gonna investigate that right now," Mr Duke said.

Asked if that meant the store manager gave false assurances that the store was paying workers properly, Mr Duke said: "I'm gonna check that out, and I'm gonna check that out very, very, very, shortly. Because that's the impression I would get too."

He said he did not know how many other Briscoes staff have been forced to work for free.

Meanwhile Hannahs executive director Roger Harper has admitted the footwear chain used a fixed hour system so staff aren't paid for overtime.

"There's not an expectation from the company, but there may be situations where people are working over the closing time of the store," Mr Harper said.

Checkpoint spoke to a Hannahs employee who is earning the minimum wage who said she had been too scared to speak out of fear of repercussion.

"It's been a cause of a lot of stress. What I get paid isn't enough to cover my bills, and to work that extra without being paid, it's made me feel quite stressed. Quite down," the employee said.

"Because they're such a big company, and I'm just one person, I feel if I say something I may face repercussions," she said.

Mr Harper said there would be no repercussions for any Hannahs employee who spoke out about not being paid properly, and he only learned Hannahs uses a fixed hour system today.

"I would love to see that change. Definitely not happy about that."

Hannahs and Briscoes. Source: rnz.co.nz


First charter school signs up to state system

The first charter school application to join the state system has been approved by the government.

From next year, Vanguard Military School in Albany, Auckland, will be a designated character school with a board of trustees.

Education minister Chris Hipkins said the school had demonstrated it would provide an education significantly different from that available at other state schools.

He had also begun the formal process of cancelling the contracts for all 11 charter schools by the end of the year, he said.

The government introduced legislation earlier this year to prevent new charter schools opening.

The move has drawn criticism from some people associated with the schools, along with Act leader David Seymour, who championed their establishment.

About 100 students, parents, and teachers protested against the schools' closures in February.

Mr Hipkins has previously said each of the 11 schools could apply to become a different type of school, rather than shutting their doors.

Vanguard Military School gave a loud message at the Save Our Charter Schools rally in Auckland today. Source: 1 NEWS