Ariz. salon owner loses suit over fish pedicures

PHOENIX — A judge has rejected an Arizona salon owner’s claims that her constitutional rights were violated when cosmetology regulators forced her to stop offering pedicures that use fish to nibble the dead skin off people’s feet.

Cindy Vong opened a fish spa within her nail salon in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert in October 2008 but was forced to close that part of her business nearly a year later.

The closure was prompted by the state Board of Cosmetology’s conclusion that the practice was illegal because the fish were an unsafe tool for skin exfoliation that couldn’t be sanitized in between uses.

Fish pedicures are popular in Asia and spread to some U.S. cities in recent years. But Texas, Washington, Massachusetts and New Hampshire have outlawed the practice.

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