Harmful Effects of Nail Polish

Nail polish is a necessity for many women, as it not only aids to a professional, put-together look, it also acts as a creative expression.

In those bold red and subtle mauve polishes, however, lies many toxins that are harmful to our health. Even the healthiest people can fail to understand what nail polish really does to the body. Recent studies show that most of the popular nail polish brands in America are more harmful than they would seem.

Recently, a group of 24 women participated in a study to be tested for chemical toxins by researchers. The researchers found chemical toxins in the body of every woman in the study. They discovered that the cause of the toxins all boiled down to one source — nail polish.

The results of the study indicated the chemical triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP, to be found in 100 percent of the women just ten hours after applying nail polish. These numbers are both interesting and very troubling.

After this initial study, the same researchers conducted a follow-up study that tested common nail polish brands for TPHP. They studied ten nail polish brands, and found that eight did contain the harmful chemical.

The also found that two of the polishes that did not have TPHP on the label did in fact contain the chemical. These findings indicate that nearly 20 percent of nail polishes that are sold in American stores may contain the chemical without our knowledge.

A massive concern about triphenyl phosphate is that it can greatly affect a person’s endocrine system, which in turn controls the body’s hormones. Johanna Congleton, Ph.D., MSPH is a senior scientist at Environmental Working Group and was a co-author of the study. She says that the findings are especially profound for young women.

“It is very troubling that nail polish being marketed to women and teenage girls contains a suspected endocrine disruptor. It is even more troubling to learn that their bodies absorb this chemical relatively quickly after they apply a coat of polish.”

In addition to interfering with the body’s hormones, TPHP can also affect the reproductive system, metabolism, and is a skin allergen and irritant. The chemical is also known for being a neurotoxin.

Other ingredients in conventional nail polish boast harmful chemicals as well. Chemicals such as formaldehyde, Toluene, and dibutyl phthalate are all harmful toxins that have been found in nail polish brands. Formaldehyde is responsible for the telltale nail polish smell, and continued exposure can cause a sore throat, difficulty breathing, and asthma.

If you still want the polished look, don’t fear — there are some great, natural nail polish brands that you can try out! These brands are a great alternative and are free of the harmful chemicals found in conventional nail polish.

100 Percent Pure carries a line of nail polish that is free from the common toxins that are found in most nail polish brands. Their color line is stunning, and also features a variety of colors.

Honey Bee Gardens is a great alternative to conventional polish with its incredible line of non-toxic and water-based polishes.

Spa Ritual nail polish is a fantastic, non-toxic brand that is also completely vegan!

The harmful effects of conventional nail polish are more than enough reason to stay away from conventional brands, but the natural alternatives are a great choice for those who want to safely polish their nails. The non-toxic brands will leave you feeling good about your nails, as well as your health.

Sources: Environmental Working Group, Healthy Holistic Living

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