Skip to content

Is Your Nail Polish Toxic?

Researchers Find Toxins in Nail Polish Labeled 'Toxin-Free'; Industry Says Report Lacks Perspective

More Industry Input

The Nail Manufacturers Council doesn't approve of inaccurate labels, Masterson tells WebMD.

In a statement, the council said that ''none of the levels described in the DTSC report present a significant health or safety risk."

The levels of toluene and DBP found in the products are generally at levels considered safe by the FDA and the Expert Panel of the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), according to the statement.

CIR was set up by industry with support from the FDA.

The trend, Masterson tells WebMD, is a move away from all three of the chemicals. "Voluntarily, most of the manufacturers have moved away from the three toxic ingredients they reference," he says.

Toxins in Nail Products: Other Voices

"The bottom-line finding is we can't trust the labels on some of these nail salon products that are claiming to be free of these toxic chemicals," says Rebecca Sutton, PhD, senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group. She reviewed the report.

"These chemicals have well-established health concerns," she says. "Obviously, there is greater danger for workers, who are exposed so much longer, day in and day out."

However, "this is not a minor concern for consumers," she says. Other products, such as cleaning supplies, also contain the chemicals, she says. Exposure can accumulate.

Her advice for consumers? "I might say go easy on the nail polish. Go to the salon less often." Pregnant women might consider skipping salon visits, she says.

Write the nail product manufacturers, says Julia Liou, MPH, co-founder of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and a public health administrator of Asian Health Services. Ask them to remove toxic chemicals, she says.

Brush Up on Beauty

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices