Testifying Monday at a state legislative hearing in Sacramento, the 43-year-old dancer/choreographer/actress and "American Idol" judge talked about her own yearlong health ordeal caused by an unsanitary manicure.
Abdul said a trip in April 2004 to a Studio City nail shop that used unclean equipment sent her in and out of the hospital, and made her the butt of late-night talk show jokes.
"Being a professional dancer, I'm no stranger to pain, but this time the pain was so excruciating that even my hair touching my thumb caused me to scream," Abdul told the California Senate Business and Professions Committee in Sacramento.
The legislation, sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Leland Yee, would establish safety standards for manicure and pedicure equipment and rewrite state regulations mandating that nail shops follow sanitary practices.
Customers are vulnerable to bacterial infections if manicurists do not properly sanitize their tools between jobs.
The bill was expected to pass in committee. If that occurs, it would likely come before the full Senate sometime in the next two weeks.
"I was publicly humiliated," Abdul said in her closing statement. "That is why with an open heart and a selfless agenda, I implore you to pass this bill."