Study finds toxic polish at nail salons

(KTSF by Susannah Lee)

Many nail polish products sold exclusively at nail salons are advertised as toxic-free, but a reports finding reveals that some actually contain high levels of toxic chemicals.
A report released by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control lists 12 nail polish products found to be mislabeled. While they claim to be free of chemical toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde, each product in fact contains at least one of the “toxic trio”, and in some cases at dangerously high levels.


DTSC tested a total of 25 products, all exclusively sold at nail salons only.

“Those of us in the government want those who buy these products, salon owners and people who use them everyday, have some confidence that what they purchase is in fact safer,” says Karl Palmer, DTSC Pollution Prevention Performance Manager who oversaw the report.
Julia Liou of California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative says the finding was alarming and disturbing, “No workers have to suffer health impact due to a manufacturer’s false claims.”

Some nail beauticians were upset by the misbranding, and call on the government to punish manufacturers who make false claims.

The “toxic trio” have been linked to birth defects and cancer. The European Union has banned the use of DBP in nail polish, while imposing strict limits in the use of toluene and formaldehyde.
California does not restrict use of the “toxic trio”, but requires listing of these chemicals if they are present.

San Francisco became the first city in the country to adopt a policy encouraging use of toxic-free nail products. Since October 2010, nail salons that voluntarily use only toxic-free products are awarded the “green seal” recognition.

(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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