Exposed: The Mislabeling of Some "Toxin-Free" Nail Polish Causes Concern
I have to confess up front: I love my nail polish. In uncertain economic times, I may not be able to afford a tropical vacation or a new automobile, but a new bottle on nail polish is an inexpensive little luxury. Of concern to me over the years are the chemicals contained in these tiny bottles of color. The strong scents seemed to suggest some noxious chemicals were present, no matter how pretty the color.
Following the trend of many companies who seek to minimize our exposure to carcinogens, many nail polish companies have eliminated the use of certain chemicals known to impact human health. Leading nail polish companies such as OPI and essie proudly proclaim that their products are free of toluene, formaldehyde and DBP (dibutyl phthalate). Other companies soon followed their lead, and the so-called "toxin-free" polishes seemed to be the norm on drug store shelves.
There is only one problem. Some of these claims have since been found to be false. California Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of Toxic Substances Control announced in a recently released report that many nail polishes stocked in nail salons and sold directly to consumers contain the so-called "toxic trio" of toluene, formaldehyde and DBP, despite the claims on their labels. In total, 48 000 nail salons were found to be using nail polishes that after being tested were found to contain high levels of the "toxic trio". The report found that brands including Sation, Dare to Wear, Chelsea, New York Summer, Paris Spicy, Sunshine, Cacie and Golden Girl actually contain high levels of DBP.
Toluene is a solvent which is a known carcinogen. Exposure to this chemical can cause birth defects, and the development of asthma. DBP is also a carcinogenic compound, and linked to the development of birth defects in animal studies. Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic chemical which has long been used in the embalming process; its use has been linked to various problems, including the development of childhood asthma.Continued on the next page