Friday, November 16, 2012

How Safe Are Nail Polishes?

The safety of conventional nail polishes has come under scrutiny in recent years. In fact, it's been a matter of concern for some time. If you use nail polish or go into a professional salon, you'll know the strong smell that accompanies it. There's a reason for such strong odors - chemicals.

Nail polish
Nail polish (Photo credit: _windprincess)
While certainly not all chemicals are bad, many of the ones in nail polish are considered potentially toxic to human health. Among the most prominent chemicals in nail polish are formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl-phthalate (DBP).

DBP is what makes nail polish shiny and flexible. It is also added to the nail polish during manufacturing so that it will dissolve other ingredients in the polish. DBP has been linked to hormonal problems in newborn males, including long-term fertility problems. This is probably the most controversial of the three toxic ingredients in nail polish.

Formaldehyde helps harden the polish once on your nails. It is, however, a human carcinogen. In addition, it can cause upper respiratory irritation and a rash on the skin.

Toluene is an ingredient that helps diffuse the pigment through the nail polish. It helps the polish have a smooth, uniform look. Unfortunately, it also can affect the central nervous system. Headaches, dizziness, and fatigue are common symptoms of toluene exposure. Toluene may also affect the reproductive system.

Are There Non-Toxic Nail Polishes?

The good news is, there are alternatives. A good place to start is your local health food store. You can also look online to find out the toxicity of various brands. Here are some of the alternative non-toxic brands available.

* Knocked Up Nails is a nail polish brand that caters to expectant mothers. Because of the concerns over the fertility problems in newborn baby boys from DBP exposure, pregnant women are especially on the lookout for non-toxic polishes.

* SunCoat is a water-based nail polish. The label claims it is free of phthalates, parabens, and odors.

* Sante is a "high-safety" nail polish according to the label. Its label also says - in multiple languages - that it is free of toluene and formaldehyde.

* ManiPure is a non-toxic, vegan and "pregnancy-safe" polish free of the "Big 3" chemicals listed above, as well as camphor, and it also is cruelty-free. It comes in a variety of vibrant and lovely shades.

Remember, too, that a lot of nail products besides just polish contain dubious chemicals. Conventional nail polish removers, for example, contain acetone. Many of the companies listed above offer other natural nail products that are safer. You can have pretty nails, without the toxic chemicals. Check out the brands above, or see those listed below.

A Few Non-Toxic Nail Polish Options:
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1 comment:

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