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Nail Polish Labeled “Non-toxic” Not Always As Advertised

Audio

Aired 4/10/12

A new California study finds some nail polish brands that claim to be free of certain toxins are not.

A new California study finds some nail polish brands that claim to be free of certain toxins are not. The Department of Toxic Substances Control analyzed 25 professional-grade nail polishes in the San Francisco area. About half of them claimed to be free of at least one of the so-called “toxic trio:” Toluene, Formaldehyde and Dibutyl Phthalate.

But Karl Palmer with the Department says 10 of those products contained one of the toxic three ingredients and four products contained another. “People who buy those products because they want them to be safer are trusting the manufacturer and their labeling so that they can feel better about what they’re purchasing and the safety of their worker and the salon so it is concerning," said Palmer.

It’s not illegal to use the “toxic three” in nail products, but Palmer says the products should be properly labeled. The compounds are linked to birth defects and cancer. Palmer says the Department’s study was only a snapshot, but it raises the question about how widespread the problem is.

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