Looking pretty often comes with a price, as exemplified by a newly released 21-page report showing that the nail polish applied in many nail salons could be and often is made up of toxic chemicals. It isn’t completely surprising news, as many consumer products like many lipstick shades have been found to contain lead. The information will unlikely result in a decline in nail salon visits, though serious health activism may come about.
The report was released by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), which conducted a study on 25 nail polishes which were claimed to be non-toxic. Charlotte Fadipe , a spokesperson with the California DTSC, revealed that the research found a whopping 10 out of 12 products contained toluene. Toluene is a hydorcarbon used as an industrial solvent for the manufacturing of paints, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and rubber. Toluene can be found in gasoline, paint thinners, rubber cement, and glue, with toxicity sparking from inhalation of fumes or ingestion.
Specifically, 4 of the nail polishes also contained a chemical called dibutyl phthalate, or DBP. DBP is a plasticizer used to prevent chips and cracks, and is known to be hazardous. The European Commission has prohibited the use of phthalates like DBP in children’s toys since 1999, and in 2005 the legislation was made permanent. The ban also extended to use in childcare articles, which are products intended to facilitate sleep, relaxation, hygiene, and the feeding of children.
“We sampled 25 different professional nail care products and we were pretty disappointed with what we found. We realized 10 of the 12 products contained toulene, 4 of them contained another chemical called DBP. DBP and Toulene for instance, are both known as developmental toxins to humans. We want them labeled correctly, so people can make an informed choice whether or not to choose these products,” Fadipe explained.
The Professional Beauty Association released the following statements:
“NMC condemns any manufacturer misleading customers about the ingredients in their products. The public should, however, be aware nearly the entire nail industry took voluntary steps to remove these checmicals from their products. The most relevant health related concerns in nail salons are not the ingredients, but ventilation, sanitation, education and work practices.”
It was previously reported that nail salons which do not utilize proper cleaning procedures could also harbor hepatitis B.