April 27, 2019 Stink!

Avoiding carcinogens in nail polish is harder than you think

You probably know that conventional nail polish may contain phthalates, toluene and carcinogenic formaldehyde.

Read those labels but remember you can’t avoid toxic chemicals if they’re not disclosed.

But, because of labeling loopholes, you won’t see all chemicals of concern disclosed on product labels. To be safe, you can call companies and ask them directly if their nail polish contains formaldehyde or toluene.

We called a company called Justice to see if its nail polish contained toluene or formaldehyde. Justice assured us that these chemicals were not present in its tween nail polish.

Justice assured us that the nail polish was free of cancer-causing formaldehyde & toluene.

Turns out…Justice lied to us was mistaken – its nail polish does contain formaldehyde and high levels of toxic toluene. We know this because we sent the product to a laboratory for chemical analysis.

FDA doesn’t know if there’s toluene or formaldehyde in your nail polish. The only way to find out is to send it to a laboratory.

Regulators don’t know if there are toxic chemicals in your products so if consumers want to know then they must pay $400 to test a $10 product. Ridiculous! But Don’t blame the FDA, blame industry lobbyists trade associations like the Personal Care Product Council and the American Chemistry Council.

Here’s what the lab analysis revealed:
The EPA has classified formaldehyde as a “probable human carcinogen.” National Cancer Institute researchers have concluded that, based on data from studies in people and from lab research, exposure to formaldehyde may cause leukemia, particularly myeloid leukemia, in humans.
According to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control

Exposure to toluene has the potential to cause or contribute to adverse human health impacts, including:
Nervous system effects. Neurotoxicity is a critical human health concern following acute, intermediate, or chronic toluene exposure.
Developmental toxicity. Toluene exposure is linked to adverse effects in developing fetuses and has the potential to cause birth defects.
Respiratory, liver, and kidney toxicity. Toluene exposure has been linked to harm to the respiratory tract, the liver, and kidneys.
Immune system, vision, and hearing effects. Toluene exposure is also linked to adverse impacts to the immune system and vision and hearing impairment.

This is why chemical disclosure is so important for consumers, regulators and retailers. Under current law, consumers don’t have a right to choose what chemicals they’re exposed to; the chemical industry gets to choose for us. Because companies aren’t required to disclose, they don’t make the best choices about what they sell and therefore consumers are forced to make bad choices about what they buy.

The system to regulate chemicals and products is broken in America. Efforts to fix this broken system are being blocked by the powerful cosmetics lobby, The Personal Care Product Council and its stealthy partner, the American Chemistry Council.

They just blocked a California effort to crack down on the some of the nasty chemicals in nail polish.

Cosmetics industry succeeds in shelving California bill restricting toxic ingredients

If you’re interested in avoiding toxic polish then check out this recent article on safer nail polishes

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