hair & nails

nail polish and other nail products have safety issues

Toxic Spill?: Nail Salon Safety Issues

hormonal and reproductive system changes due to polish, and nail salon worker illnesses put the focus on the health cost of beautiful nails

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Toxic Spill?: Nail Product Safety Issues

Nail Salon Safety
In nail salons, attention has turned to the long-term effects of exposure to the chemicals used in real and artificial nail maintenance.

For many years, the safety focus for nail salons has been the risk of bacterial or fungal infections from salons practicing sloppy hygiene. Now those concerns have been expanded.

Chemicals of Concern in Common Nail Salon Compounds
• Acetone: Solvent in nail polish remover, polish; can cause nose, throat and eye irritation, headaches, confusion, nausea, vomiting, unconsciousness and possibly coma, and shortening of the menstrual cycle.

• Dibutyl phthalate: Plasticizer in nail polish; easily absorbed through the skin and intestinal tract and can cross the placenta into the fetus; can cause development problems in the male genitals of humans and rats; exposed pregnant rodents have fewer live pups and smaller offspring.

• Toluene: Solvent in nail polish remover and nail treatments; low levels can cause tiredness, weakness, drunken-type actions, memory loss, nausea, loss of appetite, and hearing and color vision loss; high levels can cause birth defects in children including retarded mental abilities and growth.

• Ethyl methacrylate: Used to form artificial nails; can cause eye and skin irritation, vapors may cause dizziness or suffocation.
Sources: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; Environmental Protection Agency; Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel; New Ecology Inc.

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