How Can Nail Polish Be Hazardous?
Not all nail polish is created equal. Many contain chemical ingredients that can be harmful to your health.
Formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen, is used as a nail hardener, as a bactericide and preservative in nail polish and as an embalming fluid. It is also used in paints, lacquers and coatings; paper products; permanent press fabrics; plywood and other pressed wood products; and certain insulation materials. Formaldehyde has been associated with several health problems such as asthma, allergies, skin irritations and cancer.
Toluene is a toxic chemical that’s used as a solvent to give nail polishes their smooth consistency. Exposure to toluene vapours may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and fatigue. Women who are pregnant or are nursing should avoid exposure to toluene because it can affect the foetus’ or infant’s developing nervous system. Toluene can also be found in nail-whitening products (the white tip applied over the natural nail before applying coloured polish).
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is a plasticizer that’s used in many cosmetics including nail polishes to reduce cracking by making them less brittle. Though
The chemicals in nail polish, nail hardeners and nail glue are known to cause birth defects. Nail polish contains a chemical called phthalates that can cause hormonal irregularities in newborn babies. Nail hardener contains formaldehyde, which is also known to cause birth defects. The fumes from nail glue have been known to cause swelling of the brain and heart problems in unborn babies.
If you have your nails professionally done, be sure that the stylist you choose has plenty of fresh air circulating through the salon. Some salons use air filters, but they only filter out some of the fumes. You should also find out if they use any non-toxic products. Most companies do not advertise that their products are non-toxic because it costs more to make them that way. However, there are some companies that do make non-toxic nail products and will advertise them as such on their website or on the label. If you cannot find a salon near you that uses non-toxic products, consider doing your own pedicure at home and limiting your exposure to toxic fumes until after your baby is born.
Because of the chemicals in nail polish, it has the potential to be hazardous if not applied and removed properly. In fact, nail polish can cause irritation to your skin and nails. The chemicals in nail polish can also wreak havoc on your immune system. Whenever you go to the salon or do your own nails at home, you are exposing yourself to formaldehyde, toulene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and camphor.
Formaldehyde is added to nail polish as a hardener, but it is also an irritant and known carcinogen. It can cause allergic reactions; dermatitis; headaches; nausea; burning sensation in throat, eyes, nose and lungs; chest pain; vomiting; dizziness; ear infections; chronic fatigue; loss of sleep; joint pain and depression.
Touline is a solvent used to dissolve ingredients in nail polish that makes it smooth and easy to apply. Some people have reported headaches and dizziness from touline exposure.
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is used as a plasticizer in nail polish to reduce cracking by making the polish more flexible. It is considered a possible carcinogen by some scientists as well as an endocrine disruptor and reproductive toxicant. This means that
Nail Polish and Hazardous Chemicals
If you enjoy painting your nails, you might have heard the term “toxic trio” or the “dirty dozen” when it comes to nail polish chemicals. These are three ingredients that beauty manufacturers use in their nail polishes (the dirty dozen are twelve). This is because they are linked to serious health issues such as cancer.
The three hazardous ingredients in nail polish include:
Toluene: This is a solvent. It gives the polish its smooth application and finish. Toluene can cause neurological problems and damage the immune system. Women who are pregnant should not use nail polish with this ingredient because it could lead to developmental issues in babies.
Formaldehyde: This is another solvent used in nail polish. It can cause cancer, asthma and neurotoxicity.
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP): The last of the toxic trio is DBP, which is a plasticizer added to make the polish flexible and tough so it does not chip easily. It has been linked to birth defects. DBP is found in less than 5% of all nail polishes that are sold today but this chemical was banned for use in children’s toys in 2008 due to safety concerns.
Nails can be hazardous to your health.
Nail polish contains many chemicals that release toxic fumes, some of which are carcinogenic. There is also a danger from the UV light from the curing lamps used in nail salons. The polish itself contains phthalates, which disrupt hormones, and formaldehyde, which can cause cancer. The acetone used to remove polish is also highly toxic. Nail technicians do not use masks or ventilation systems to protect themselves!
You can reduce risk by having your nails done at home, with organic polishes and removers. You may be able to find a natural salon in your area that uses non-toxic polishes and removers.
To keep your nails healthy:
Wear gloves when doing housework or yard work; this will prevent scratching and damage from dirt, grime and bacteria that can cause fungal infections.
Soak hands and feet in warm water for at least ten minutes once a week; this softens the skin making it easier to exfoliate callouses with a pumice stone or foot file.
Moisturize after washing and before going to bed; use a good quality moisturizer on hands and feet daily. Moisturizers that contain lactic acid
Nails are like little canvases, and nail polish is the paint. There are so many beautiful colors, finishes and effects available to you that they can be hard to choose from, but one thing is certain: all nail polishes, even those marketed as “natural” or “organic” contain chemicals that are not good for you at all. There are several different categories of toxic ingredients in nail polish and removers, but we will focus on the “Big 3”: Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde.
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is used to make plastics more flexible, but it also makes your nails soft. DBP has been linked with endocrine disruption, miscarriage, and other developmental disorders in studies on animals. The European Union has banned DBP in cosmetics since 2004. In the USA DBP has been banned in children’s toys since 2008 because of its potential health risks and harm to development, but it can still be found in nail polish.
Toluene helps the polish glide onto your nails easier; it also helps the polish dry faster by suspending pigments evenly throughout the solution so they don’t settle out
Nail polish is a cosmetic product applied to the finger nails and toe nails. It provides a durable color to the nails, and can also provide a protective coating. It can be removed with nail polish remover.
Nail polish consists of a mix of an organic polymer and several other components, depending on the brand. Nitrocellulose that is dissolved in butyl acetate or ethyl acetate is common. This basic formulation is expanded to include the following:
Colors are obtained by the inclusion of pigments or dyes.
Thickeners to give the mixture a desired consistency.
A film former (for example, ethyl cellulose) that allows the solid component of the mix to stick to the nails.
Plasticizers to reduce brittleness.Diluents (solvents) to thin the mixture for use and to help it to level when applied. A typical nail polish will contain 14% nitrocellulose dissolved in butyl acetate or ethyl acetate. Ethyl acetate is commonly used as they are both less toxic than solvents such as toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) or camphor and