Monday, November 3, 2008

Fish Pedicure Illegal in Washington

July 21, 2008 we had a small post about a foot bath of garra rufa fish that nibble the dead skin away from the feet, in other words, a fish pedicure. A portion of the post read:

"Garra rufa live in small tubs or pools of water in international spas where they make their living eating dead skin from patrons feet, hands or their entire body, nibbling away at dead skin cells. It's the natural way to exfoliate the skin. The results - soft smooth feet and hands and a little tickle massage."

As I watched the news last night, the subject of fish pedicures came up again. To protect the citizens of the state of Washington, the Department of Licensing considers it illegal to have fish nibble at your feet -- well in a salon, anyway.

Seattle Times staff reporter, Sonia Krishnan wrote: "Pedicures by fish — the use of tiny, live carp to clean feet — has been deemed unsanitary and illegal in this state."

So what's so bad about a fish pedicure? Christine Anthony, spokeswoman for the Department of Licensing said "it's impossible to sanitize the live fish. You can clean the tank, you can clean the water, but there's no guarantee that the fish aren't carrying something from the previous customer."

I doubt we've heard the last of this. According to the Seattle Times, the salon owner, Tweety Bui said: "I am shocked and surprised and disappointed, and not happy. I am so overwhelmed with all this that it's not even funny."

Ms. Bui had invested several hundred dollars on these little creatures according to my local news.

$30 for a 15 minute fish pedicure - not bad. In my first post, I express that I didn't think a fish pedicure sounded too inviting. But now that I rethink it, I could handle a soothing massage from these little carp. Maybe my opinion changed because I am further being protected against myself and my decisions. A risk warning brochure would do the trick for me. It would provide me with the facts and allow me to make a decision on my own.


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