Is Your Nail Polish Harmful To Your Health?

emPhotographed by Eli Schmidt.
For some ladies, leaving the house without nail polish is like forgoing a coat in the dead of winter. Not happening. But, ever since the "toxic trio" (formaldehyde, toluene, plasticizer dibutyl phthalate) protest back in 2006, even some dedicated polish enthusiasts have thought twice about the dangers of a killer set of digits.
Even though women didn't skip their weekly manicures, many of the well-known companies who included this noxious mixture in their polish still decided to voluntarily remove it. But, don't get paint happy just yet. The New York Times reports that a 2012 investigation by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control found that some of these companies only changed the label — not the contents — of the polish. So, while the European Union has banned the use of DPA in all cosmetics, the USFDA hasn't taken regulations to that extreme.
Janet Nudelman, co-founder of the advocacy group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, tells the Tribune, "No one is saying that occasional application of nail polish will cause long-term health consequences. But, certain groups may be at higher risk." So, if you're a nail technician or have a child (read: nail-biter), you have to take extra precautions. Even so, a good resource everyone can benefit from is this database on the Environmental Working Group website, which lists the safest brands on the market. Who knows? You just might discover that your nail polish isn't the most dangerous beauty product in your drawer. (The New York Times)

More from Body

R29 Original Series