11/25/2014

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Cosmetology board delays vote on laser ban until January

Cosmetology board delays vote on laser ban until January

SALEM, Ore. – There will be no ban on laser beauty treatments in Oregon – at least for now.

The cosmetology board was going to vote on that ban Monday but decided to wait.

A lot of people testified during a hearing in Salem, saying the laser ban would affect thousands of people, including customers.

Estheticians, doctors, nurses and lawyers, some of them also laser customers, gave their thoughts to the cosmetology board.

The emergency ban would have stopped estheticians from using lasers for anything but hair removal for six months while the board came up with new rules.

All of this came after many people in Oregon complained that they were hurt during laser treatments for things like spider vein removal.

There have been cases of estheticians using lasers without licenses or without proper training.

On Monday, estheticians said the ban could put them out of work, companies would not be able to pay for their expensive laser equipment, customers would lose out on treatments they already paid for and $500 million worth of laser business would go north to Washington.

"I think the board made actually a very good decision to delay making a decision until they gathered more information, because I don't think that they had the full picture," said laser trainer and esthetician, Mary Nielsen of Tigard.

She hopes the board will do something to make sure estheticians in Oregon get more laser training. She said, currently, they're not required to have much and the result is people could end up with an esthetician who does not really know how the laser works.

Nielsen also said the economic impact to estheticians would be negative.

"You're looking at an economic impact on estheticians – six months without a paycheck. You're looking at businesses – six months without being able to earn revenue to make their payments, because laser equipment is extremely expensive," Nielsen said.

The cosmetology board listened and decided to do more research first before deciding on the ban.

Here are some of the key points they want to look at for new rules:

  • More education for estheticians to get licensed, specifically with lasers.
  • Continuing education for estheticians like massage therapists and tattoo artists have to do to keep up with changes.
  • Make sure estheticians get bonds so if customers prepay thousands of dollars for treatments, they have a way to get money back if the esthetician goes out of business.

The cosmetology board will look at this again in January to try to come up with rules that keep customers from getting hurt but do not hurt estheticians as well.

They are also going to check out what Washington, Utah and Arizona are doing with their laser laws to see if Oregon can borrow the best of their ideas.

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