Photo by Shutterstock
Your so-called three-free nail polish may not be all that cracked up to be, according to California state regulators, who discovered that many polishes claiming to be free of the “toxic trio” actually contained high levels of those same chemicals. Investigators from the Department of Toxic Substances Control sampled 25 brands of polishes commonly used in more than 48,000 nail salons across California, including a number of products advertised to contain no dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or formaldehyde. Linked to asthma, birth defects, cancer, and other chronic health conditions, the big three have been at the center of ongoing public attention over nail product safety, particularly for the large population of immigrant salon workers who have limited comprehension of health warnings and preventative measures in the product literature.
Photo by Shutterstock
In certain “three-free” polishes, DBP was found in greater concentrations than in products making no such claims at all.
Investigators found that 10 of 12 products advertised to be toluene-free contained dangerous levels of the chemical, with four of the polishes comprising as much as 17.7 percent. The report also notes that five of seven products that said they were free of the toxic three included at least one of the agents at elevated levels. In certain “three-free” polishes, DBP was found in greater concentrations than in products making no such claims at all.
Among the products tested that the state says were mislabeled were Sation 99 Basecoat, Sation 53 red-pink nail color, Dare to Wear nail lacquer, Chelsea 650 Baby’s Breath Nail Lacquer, New York Summer Nail Color, Paris Spicy 298 nail lacquer, Sunshine nail lacquer, Cacie Light Free Gel Basecoat, Cacie Sun Protection Topcoat, Golden Girl Topcoat, Nail Art Top-N-Seal, and High Gloss Topcoat.
Although the use of the three chemicals is legal, improper labeling violates a state law.
Although the use of the three chemicals is legal, improper labeling violates Proposition 65, a state law that requires disclosure of harmful chemicals in consumer products. The California attorney general, who is currently reviewing the findings, can decide to take legal action, including fines and an order to attach warning labels.
Manufacturers of nail-coating products should ensure labels accurately reflect product ingredients and that nail salon owners, practitioners, and consumers have the ability to identify hazardous constituents in the products they use, the report reads. “The lack of accurate information on on the hazardous chemicals contained in nail products presents an unlevel playing field for manufacturers that deserve to make such claims,” it concludes, “and prevents users from making informed choices to improve health and safety.”
[Via the Washington Post]