Study: 10 in 12 nail polish co’s lie about toxic ingredients

Posted at 2:04 PM, Apr 11, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-11 14:05:12-04

SACRAMENTO, California  – Do you know what’s in your nail polish?

According to a new report published by the state of California, you might not be getting all the right information. In a study, the state found that 10 out of 12 nail polishes distributed in the area that claimed to be “toxin free” actually contained at least one of three potentially hazardous chemicals. More than 30% of those tested had dangerously high levels.

The chemicals in question: dibutyl pthalate, formaldehyde and toluene. The brands tested are sold in salons in California. They include Dare to Wear, New York Summer and Sation.

“It is just disheartening, distressing and disturbing as a consumer and a regulator,” Debbie Raphael, director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control, said at a press conference. “The question that we want to engage industry in is, is it necessary to use these chemicals?”

Raphael says the state will work more closely with manufacturers to make sure labels are accurate, and research whether or not safer products could be used instead. The attorney general could also eventually force the companies to attach warning labels to their products.

The report is most worrisome for nail technicians, who spend long hours breathing in the chemicals which can cause birth defects and some cancers.

“We are alarmed by the results of this report,” Julia Liou, co-founder of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and a public health administrator for Asian Health Services, said in a statement. “The misbranding of products is not only a major public health problem, but also interferes with a salon worker’s right to a safe and healthy work environment.”

Meanwhile, a group that represents the companies that make the nail polish argues the levels of chemicals are actually very low and don’t present a significant health risk.