Fish Pedicures "Shot in the Foot"

Fish Pedicure Florida is the latest state to ban the practice of 'fish pedicures'. The treatment, which utilizes small fish placed in a tank to feed on a customer's dead skin, gained some momentum across the county last year.

The Florida Board of Cosmetology considers fish pedicures unhygienic. The Board announced a ban on the practice early this week, placing Florida on a growing list of states that have rejected the spa procedure, including Washington, Texas, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

According to Alexis Antonacci, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the board found that fish pedicures violate two laws, The Orlando Sentinel reports.

One rule prohibits animals in salons, save assistance or service pets. The imported fish -- commonly garra rufas, which originally come from Turkey -- could also not ensure a required level of sanitation.

'From our view, under state law, it says that all tools used in pedicures must be sanitized, disinfected or disposed of after each use between customers to prevent the spread of disease and infections,' said Christine Anthony, the spokeswoman for Washington's Department of Licensing.

'We felt the fish were being used as tools and there was no way to sanitize them. You can change the water in an aquarium, but you can't clean the fish.'

Texas banned the practice that same month, even before it had documented any salons offering the treatment. Nevertheless, it still felt the need to take preemptive action.

'There was a question about cleaning of the tanks and concern with the chemicals that were being used,' said public information officer Susan Stanford, of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. 'Plus, fish shouldn't be living in hot, chlorinated water. There was a concern for patrons, too, and a risk of infection or bacteria.'