Growing up, me being the only girl child in my family my mom often took me with her to get our nails done. She always told me to try and not breathe in the chemical smell of the nail polish and nail polish remover because it was bad for me. Although, I never knew if it was actually bad and if so, how bad it could be for my health.
After doing research on this topic, it turns out that almost all nail polish fumes are considered toxic due to the chemicals in it. One chemical especially dangerous to our bodies is phthalates. This is a solvent of colors and is extremely toxic to our nervous system. Two other major chemicals in the ingredients of nail polish are acetone (also in nail polish remover) and toluene, which are not healthy to breathe in for the eyes, nerves, and lungs. It can be hard not to breathe them in when sitting in a nail salon since it is the main fume that goes around, which is why they have mini fans on each station to keep the air flowing where we breathe the most. These fumes that come from those chemicals also put our respiratory systems at a higher risk. Formaldehyde is a skin, eye, and respiratory irritant and is used in nail polish as the hardener and has been found as a link with leukemia. Another harming chemical in the makeup of nail products is called benzophenones and this is said to cause cancer. Although the fact that the intake of benzophenones and Formaldehyde may correlate with getting cancer, it does not technically cause cancer because it has yet to be proven and like we now know from class: correlation does not prove causation.
Nail polish and the fume it gives off can be harmful to our health but if it is not used too often and in a well ventilated room it is not horrible. Using nail polish remover is actually worst for you over nail polish due to the larger amount of acetone in it. It is said to only be used twice a month because of this. After reading a study done by Duke University and the Public Health Advocacy Organization Environmental Working Group I learned that our bodies can absorb chemicals straight through the nail polish. The chemical that makes the nail polish stick ( also used in other things to make them less flammable) called Triphenyl Phosphate (TPP) is one of the few chemicals that is not actually known to be unsafe yet, but there are new correlational studies out that this chemical is capable of disrupting people and animals hormones making scientists not settle and watch this chemical cautiously.
Due to the danger nail products bring to our health, nail polish companies are beginning to remove some of the toxic chemicals. This does not necessarily mean that they will be safe to use, but it will improve them and make it a bit less harmful to our bodies when breathing it in.