8 Harmful Chemicals In Nail Polish – Compound and Cautions

This might be a disturbing news for ped-med lover. As the society puts high bow on human appearance, especially women, we would like to maintain our appearance into the next level more and more. From hair, face, brow, fats in the body and even small part in our body called nails. Hence, we would never leave the home without a slick of colour on our nails. but do we ever imagine that we could find such harmful chemical in our various color of nail polishes?

Currently, the scientists are warning us about the harmful chemicals in almost all nail polish products that we use and cause affect to our health, including cancer. A research has shown that our body can absorb the chemicals from nail polish everytime we get mani-ped. Another harmful chemical is named triphenyp phosphate or TTP, that chemical is added to the nail polish to make it stick strongly to the nail. But sadly, many companies other than nail polish companies has used TTP as well in many goods such as seating products until electronics products. Thus, we’ll discuss about harmful chemicals in nail polish.

Chemical in Nail Polishes Does Absorb into Your Body

A study held by Duke University and public health advocay organization Environment Working Group reveals that the chemical contained in nail polish can absorb into the body. Hence, it is not longer a hot news that the fact of harmful chemical found in nail polishes can be absorbed by the body is cause for concern. Especially triphenyp phosphate or TTP.

Since 1910, TTP have been used as it barely doesn’t cause irritation to the skin and eyes. However, this is stil debatable. The scientist held urine analysis for the TTP users. The participants got a normal manicure while the other got fake-nail manicure. The nail polish used in those experiment contained one percent of TTP.

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Then the participants’s diphenyl phosphate levels or DPHP were being tested. The scientist took the test before and after about 10-15 minutes the participants get manicured. The DPHP level on the participant who got fake-nail manicure didn’t change, while DPHP level rapidly changed a lot on the participant who got normal manicure. Although, this experiment doesn’t mention the nail polish used, this result should make the nail polish users worry.

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All chemical by other names contained in nail polishes

The chemical names inside the bottle of nail polish may contain many hazardous chemical that can attack our health, especially the ‘toxic trio’ namely formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate. These chemicals are not only attack the nail polish users but also the salon workers too. So, here are the harmful chemicals in nail polish:

  1. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is, or also called Methanal or Formalin, with the chemical compound formula as H-CHO (CH2O). This is a component of ‘toxic trio’ as mentioned above. Besides used as ingredient of nail polishes, it is also used in buildings and plastics. The function of this chemical is a hardener, strengthener and bacteria blocker.

Actually, our body can produce formaldehyde naturally or also called as human carcinogen. But if this chemical is exposed to the air or on the surface of skin, this can cause cancer that attack blood, throat and also nose. It also causes asthma, nausea, and dangerous negative health impact for pregnant women.

Furthermore, any nail polish that you find either “5 free” or “3 free” will not contain formaldehyde.

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  1. Toluene

Toluene, also known as toluol, is a component of ‘toxic trio’, are usually used as ingredients of nail polish. The function of toluene is to give smooth application and finish. This also can be found in any nail polish and has strong fumes. If this chemical is exposed to the air or on the surface of the skin, it can damage the brain, respiratory problems, nausea, damage pregnancy, blood cancer and hearing loss. Furthermore, any nail polish that you find either “5 free” or “3 free” will not contain Toluene.

  1. DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate)

Dibutyl Phthalate is commonly used as plasticizer, this is a chemical subtsance with formula C16H22O4. Dibutyl Phthalate or DBP for short, is playing a role to prevent chipping and increase the the long lasting formula for nail polishes. This chemicals can cause organ damage, early menopause, decreased fertility, liver damage and hormonal imbalances. Furthermore, any nail polish that you find either “5 free” or “3 free” will not contain DBP.

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  1. Formaldehyde Resin

Unlike formadehyde, tolene, and DBP, this chemical compound is not component of ‘toxic trio’, thus formaldehyde resin is a serious chemical compound that is used to make paints and plastics resins, and also be found in nail polish too. That’s one of harmful chemicals in nail polish.

  1. Camphor

Campor is a white or transparant solid that is easy to be burnt and waxy, and it also has a strong aroma. Its chemical formula is C10H16O. In 19th century, this chemical material was well known as nitric acid oxidizes camphor which turned into camphoric acid.

Camphor is used as ingredient for making fireworks and any explosive munitions, but unexpectedly, this chemical is also be found in the nail polish. This chemical compound gives shiny and glossy look from nail polish. The shiny and glossy finish look may flatter any women to wear nail polish, but unfortunately Camphor is mentioned as toxic ingredient, although this component is considered less toxic than other harmful chemical contained in the nail polish.

A research has revealed that Camphor can cause allergic reaction, skin irritations, liver failure, and other organ damages. Furthermore, if the user inhaled the fume of this chemical in large quantities, they will experience under torture such as headache and nausea. Any polish that you find “5 Free” will not contain Camphor.

  1. Parabens

Parabens are esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid. This include heptylparaben (E209), methylparaben (E number E218), butylparaben, propylparaben (E216), ethylparaben (E214), isobutylparaben, benzylparaben and isopropylparaben.

This substance is widely used as preservative in the cosmetic. However, lately this chemical preservative has been banned in many personal care products such as shampoos, moisturizers, personal lubricants, spray tanning solution, toothpaste, and other cosmetics, even food additives. Basically, this chemical is used to prevent bacteria to grow in any beauty products.

A research from BreastCancer.org has found that there is a relation between Paraben and breast cancer. Furthermore, this chemical material can block the body from receiving natural vitamins and nutrients from the sun and also air. Therefore, if you apply a nail polish which contains parabens, your nail will not get much vitamin and nutrient for strong and healthy nails.

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  1. Methyl Methacrylate Compounds

Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) is a chemical compound with the formula CH2=C(CH3)COOCH3. This is a colourless liquid and derivates include ethyl methacrylate or EMA, buthyl methacrycle or BMS and 2-ethyl hexyl methacryclate (2-EHMA).

Methacrylic acid (MMA) itself is commonly used in manufacture of coating polymers, textile application, and also can be found in artificial fingernails or nail polish. but sadly, the application of artificial fingernails that contains MA may cause allergies, asthma and dermatitis for either the customers or nail salon worker.

Furthermore, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or NIOSH for short, suggested that the worker should does the manicure pedicure treatment in a well ventilated room, wear glasses to prevent eye irritations upon long-term exposure with harmful chemicals in the nail polish, also wear gloves and long sleeves to protect their skin from acrylic dust when they are filing and buffing the nails. to avoid some nail polishes that contains Methacrylate, choose any brand that is labeled as “acid free”.

  1. TPHP (Triphenyl Phosphate)

TPHP is one of chemical compound with formula OP(OC6H5)3. It is used as a flame retardant and plasticizer, and sadly this chemical material is also used to make the nail polish be more flexible and easy to be used. This chemical compound exhibits low acute toxicity upon either dermal or oral contact.

Although TPHP is considered as less toxic than other harsh chemical compound, it still can mess up with the body. It can destroy the hormones in our body which can link to infertility, abnormal fetal, hormonal imbalances and some types of cancer. To avoid any nail polish that contain TPHP, read the label on the nail polish closely.

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Cautions of Nail Polish Uses

Apparently, it is not only the nail polish wearer who will have health issue by wearing it, but the nail salon workers also pay their health issue. The long-term exposure of hazardous chemicals contained nail care products can cause severe eye and skin irritations, allergic reactions, neurological symptoms, nausea, cancer, uncontrolled muscle contractions and respiratory problems too.

Furthermore, more acute health issues for the nail salon workers can lead them to have undersized babies when the workers are pregnant while getting nail polish exposure) and other pregnancy complications. So, please take attention of harmful chemicals in nail polish.

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