There’s something about having painted nails that make even the most mundane duties slightly extra fun. A glimpse at sparkly nails or a fun manicure design can add only a glimpse of daylight in the middle of a blurry work week, however some experts say that our mani-pedis might not be so wholesome for us in different ways.
A report launched by the Pollution Prevention Department of the California EPA suggests that some nail polishes could include toxic chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde, in response to WebMD.
“The chemicals in nail polish pose well being dangers that vary from reproductive issues to cancer,” Med India stories.
According to Med India, the three chemicals included within the examine are thought-about a “poisonous trio” as a result of repeated publicity to those particular chemicals may result in severe health issues.
Toluene: Used to keep the polish ingredients from separating, this chemical is also found in gasoline. Repeated exposure to this chemical causes damage to the nervous and reproductive systems. Less severe symptoms include headaches and eye/throat irritation.
Formaldehyde: This is added to polishes as a hardening agent and is used to disinfect manicure and pedicure tool. Repeated exposure to this chemical is linked to various cancers.
Dibutyl phthalate: This ingredient helps ensure the nail polish doesn’t crack. Great for ensuring your polish job lasts a long time, the ingredient is actually banned in some European countries, according to Business Insider. The chemical is known to cause damage to reproductive organs.
While the average consumer is likely exposed via casual use (applying nail polish and gel or using nail polish remover) the biggest threat of exposure actually occurs in salons.
Med India reports that manicurists and pedicurists are at higher risk for health issues because beauty salons usually have poor (or less than ideal) ventilation and because they are exposed to the chemicals more often. Professionals in the nail industry report experiencing headaches and breathing difficulties.
You don’t have to completely nix your manicures. If you want to minimize your exposure to the chemicals there are a few things you can do:
1. Choose non-toxic polishes
Opt for polishes labeled non-toxic. WebMD offers a list of polishes that passed the test.
2. Choose a safe salon
California recognizes salons that are taking strides to be healthier (choosing non-toxic polishes, providing more ventilation etc.) Not all states or cities have this program, so you may need to do a bit of research before sitting in the manicure chair.
3. Leave your nails polish free at least a few days per month
Remove your nail polish and let your nails breathe freely for a few days each month. Not only does this reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, it’s actually good for your nails to get some fresh air too!
Are you worried about exposure to harmful chemicals when you get your nails painted?
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