If you wear nail polish, you might be applying more than glossy color to your fingertips.
The dangers of nail polish lie in its toxicity. Some modern nail care cosmetics contain the following components, capable of seriously damaging your health.
What is the main danger to your health?
- Toluene — a solvent which gives the nails a smooth finish and preserves the pigment. Toluene can affect the central nervous system and cause reproductive disorders. Headaches, weakness, fainting, and nausea are just some of the likely consequences of using substandard nail polish.
- Formaldehyde — a colorless gas that helps increase a polish’s storage life. If you’re suffering from allergies, contact with formaldehyde can cause dermatitis and possible chemical burns. In more severe cases, it can trigger heart rhythm disorders, convulsions, and cancer.
- Dibutyl Рhthalate is used as a fragrance. The presence of this dangerous component may cause you endocrine disorders, gynecological diseases, and diseases of the respiratory tract.
Scientists conducted a study with a group of 24 women. 6 hours after painting their nails, most of the participants were displaying elevated levels of diphenyl phosphate — a derivative of triphenyl phosphate which is formed in the process of metabolism. 10 hours after the beginning of the experiment, the levels of diphenyl phosphate in the bodies of all participants rose to 7 times above the norm. These results are truly alarming.
How do you choose a nail polish that won’t cause damage to your health?
Some nail polish packages and bottles have special markings:
- “5-Free“ means that the product doesn’t contain formaldehyde, its derivative resins (formaldehyde resins), toluene, dibutyl phthalates, or camphor.
- ”3-Free” means that the polish is free of just three of the harmful components: formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene.
Before buying nail polish, first and foremost pay attention to the ingredients, and remember — your health is in your hands!
Parents, this is a particular concern for kids and teens. For many youngsters, nail polish is the first introduction to cosmetics. But before and during puberty, they’re especially vulnerable to hormone disruptors. Before applying another coat, try these tips for healthy nail polish use in your family:
- Use less. Paint only your fingers or toes, not both – or better yet, skip the polish and buff your nails to a natural shine.
- Read labels. Look for red-flag ingredients on the label or check products in EWG’s Skin Deep database. Of the more than 3,000 nail polishes in Skin Deep, 49 percent list TPHP among ingredients. Also avoid products that contain toluene, formaldehyde or dibutyl phthalate.
- Talk to your kids and model good behavior. If your children wear nail polish, talk to them about smart choices. Limit use – say, only during sandal season – and help them pick polishes that are free of harmful chemicals. Remind them not to chew polish off their nails. Then practice what you preach.
- If you must paint your nails, DIY. The air in nail polish salons can be hazardous to both customers and workers. Avoid them, and never take your kids to the salon.
- Don’t inhale. That strong, recognizable nail polish smell can be a sign of airborne toxic chemicals. Apply polish in a well-ventilated room.