Originally posted on THE URBAN CLINIC:
There are 10,000 chemicals used in nail products, 89% of which have not been evaluated for safety. In the US, there is presently no independent governing agency that reviews cosmetic ingredients for safety prior to being placed on the market and manufacturers are not required to list hazardous chemicals such as cancer-causing phthalates on their ingredient labels.
The cosmetology industry is the largest professional licensed population in the nation and is still growing. Nail salons have more than tripled in quantity over the last two decades. Women comprise over 95% of all nail salon workers, and most are of reproductive age, making them particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of dangerous chemicals. Cosmetic chemicals linked to birth defects in animal studies have been found in acetone, glycol ethers, and methyl methacrylates. Other chemicals in nail products include phthalates, toluene, formaldehyde, benzene, and methylene chloride, all of which are known or suspected carcinogens. Below is just a few of these ingredients, as reported by NAPAWF.org.
Phthalates are found in high concentrations in nail polish and have been linked to cancer, miscarriages, and infertility. U.S. consumers are constantly exposed to phthalates contained in items such as beauty products, water bottles and saran wrap. Because products individually contain phthalate levels deemed safe by U.S. standards, they are allowed in a wide variety of consumer products. It is the exposure to a combination of all these products that can add up and become harmful. The European Union has banned phthalates from all cosmetics for these reasons.