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Nail Polish Risk: Harming Unborn Boys

Nail Polish Risk: Harming Unborn Boys

A chemical known to harm the male reproductive system
is found in many nail and cosmetic products. The plasticizer, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), causes birth defects of testicular atrophy, reduced sperm count, and defects in the structure of the penis.

Not just a powerful reproductive toxicant but causing developmental problems as well, DBP was found in every single person tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in October, 2000. The findings also showed the disturbing fact that women of childbearing age have 20 times more exposure to DBP than the rest of the population. CDC researchers speculate this is because of their higher use of cosmetics and beauty products. Whatever the cause, pregnant women are exposing their fetuses to DBP in utero.

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) powerful new report, “Beauty Secrets: Does A Common Chemical In Nail Polish Pose Risks to Human Health?” by Jane Houlihan and Richard Wiles, names brands of 37 nail products including polishes, enamels, hardeners, and colors, that contain DBP. These include Chanel Nail Colour, Max Factor Diamond Hard Nail Enamel, Maybelline Ultimate Wear, and Oil of Olay Nail Lacquer.

The report also lists products free of DBP and toluene and formaldehyde. Types include L’Oreal Paris Jet-Set Quick Dry Nail Enamel, Revlon Nail Enamel, and Kiss Products Kiss Colors.

After finding DBP in so many cosmetic products, the EWG recommends that all pregnant women avoid all personal care products with the word phthalate on the label. To order “Beauty Secrets,” with their full list of toxic and less toxic nail care products, click here


Artificial Nails a Fire Hazard
If after reading this you are thinking of switching to artificial fingernails, beware of open flames! Long artificial fingernails are a fire hazard. In a study at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, 87 percent of the sample nails tested ignited in one second or less. All of the synthetic nails burned completely. Common ways for nails to catch on fire is from open flames such lit birthday candles, lighting cigarettes, and open gas flames on stoves or in chemistry labs.

Read more: Family, Health & Safety, Pregnancy,

Adapted from the "Care2 Ask Annie" newsletter.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


+ add your own
1:53PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

WOW GREAT PIECE. I've seen lots of info on this and I like how this article explains it. I'll be sure to share!


1:34AM PDT on Apr 24, 2010

Most popular Nail Polish Brand amongst girls in India?

A) Revlon

B) Lakme

C) Elle

Hi Friends,You can vote and express your views about this poll by clicking following URL Link:
(If the link doesn't work while clicking, please copy the above URL and paste it in your web browser address bar.)

For More Polls Visit :

Your Opinion Matters...........

10:01PM PST on Feb 14, 2010

I used to get silk wraps on my natural nails. They were long and always painted. I am a smoker and one day I started my thumb nail on fire and didn't notice right away. Luckily I had a can of soda with me and dunked the nail and put out the fire before I was burned. I was very lucky, I could have been hurt bad.

2:27PM PST on Dec 18, 2009

Thanks - oops.

2:27PM PST on Dec 18, 2009

Thabks for the info.

7:02PM PST on Dec 17, 2009

I do not use nail enamels and therefore I do not need nail polish removers. I have a small battery power nail buffer that really makes my nails quite shiny.

10:54AM PDT on Jun 19, 2009

mega kabin

7:28PM PST on Dec 8, 2008

Thanks noted

5:43AM PST on Dec 6, 2008

There is a company called NailAid that makes products which do not contain any harmful toxins, such as formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate. It is very simple to order products from them; simply go to their website at Plus, if you purchase two items, you get free shipping!

2:48AM PST on Nov 26, 2008

Preg-safe? Well commercial polish is a NO NO. After reading all these warnings and how the body absorbs toxins, I would suggest no artificial beauty products either before, during, or after,[if nursing]. Suggestion: after bath or shower, apply vegetable food coloring to nails, then when nails are dry shine them with a little beeswax.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.


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