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Toxins Found in Nail Polishes

Toxins Found in Nail Polishes

The state of California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control recently released a report showing that some nail polishes advertised as toxin-free are not. Nail products can contain chemicals such as dibutryl pththalate, toluene and formaldehyde. The first two are classified by the state of California as developmental toxins, meaning they can cause adverse effects on a developing child. Exposure to these toxins can be pre-natal for both mother and father, or post-natal when the child experiences them directly. Formaldehyde is recognized as a carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer. All three of these chemicals are found in some nail polishes, so they are known as the “toxic trio.”

Some of the nail products tested by the California TSC claimed to be free of the toxic three. However, of the seven that were tested which made this claim, only two were actually free of the trio. Of the 12 products tested which claimed to be toluene-free, only two actually contained no toluene. Four of the products claiming to be toluene-free contained 6.9 percent toluene.

Similarly, products tested which claimed to be free of the toxic trio, contained dibutryl pththalate. Products claiming to be free of the toxins actually had higher levels of dibutryl pththalate than ones that did not claim to be free of them.

“We know there are exposures at salons, both to workers and customers, and we’re concerned about potential harm. Our strategy first and foremost is to shed light on the reality of what’s in these products and put this information out to everyone,” said Karl Palmer, the DTSC’s pollution prevention performance manager. (Source: Yahoo News)

Some of the products the state of California reported were mislabeled were: Sation 99 basecoat, Sation 53 red-pink nail color, Dare to Wear nail lacquer, Chelsea 650 Baby’s Breath Nail Lacquer, New York Summer Nail Color, Paris Spicy 298 nail lacquer, and Sunshine nail lacquer.

Image Credit: amOuna / Flickr

Related Links
Non-Toxic Nail Polish
Green Your Purse
Non-toxic Toothpaste

Read more: Babies, Children, Conscious Consumer, Health,

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33 comments

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12:23AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

A few years ago, I went to a shopping center in Hornsby. There were lots of little stalls offering manicures and pedicures. The manicurists all wore masks so as not to breathe in the fumes which were overpowering. The customers seemed not to notice that the chemicals being used were so toxic that the workers all felt the need to protect themselves. It was a strange sight.

10:57AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

good to know

5:42PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Thanks for the info.

10:32AM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

I can't stand the stench of nail polish and will not use it! I constantly tell my sister what garbage she's putting on her nails despite the fancy brand name or pretty colours.
I'd really like to try Sun Coat's nailpolish since it's cruelty and chemical free :)

1:45PM PDT on Aug 3, 2012

Je n'achète que des cosmétiques écologiques et non testés sur animaux. Effectivement le vernis à ongle classique est un concentré de substances chimiques nocives. Alors vive les produits cosmétiques écologiques et éthiques!!!

5:09PM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

Deep Cover Nail polish is toxic free :)

10:34AM PDT on Apr 15, 2012

People should think twice painting their childrens finger nails. Stop and think about those artificial nails women are having put on. Have you ever seen someones real nails when they take them off.

9:05PM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

Stopped manicures.. but still like pedicure polish. May rethink.

8:48PM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

I really doubt that the toxins can go through your fingernails and be absorbed into your body. However the vapors may be harmful. That's why when on rare occasion I do use nail polish,I apply it outside!!

6:02AM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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