We’ve all seen it: that gleam in our kids’ eyes when they spot a new shade of nail polish. The joy of transforming their nails with colorful patterns or that single shade they swear is their “absolute favorite” this week. But as I started to delve a bit deeper, I realized there’s more to nail polish than just vibrant colors and glossy finishes. Today, let’s take a moment to uncover toxins in nail polish, what’s really in those tiny bottles, and how we can make safer choices for our little ones.
What’s in That Pretty Bottle?
Beneath that shiny coat, there’s a cocktail of ingredients that aren’t always the best for our little ones or us. Here’s the lowdown:
- Toluene: This is what gives the polish its smooth finish. But if you’ve ever noticed that strong nail polish smell, that’s likely toluene doing its thing. Spending too much time around it can cause headaches, dizziness, and even breathing problems. And for our expectant moms out there, it’s especially important to know that prolonged exposure might not be the best during pregnancy.
- Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP): Here’s a mouthful. This ingredient helps the polish flex with our nails without cracking. However, it’s been linked to hormone disruptions, which is a concern, especially for our growing kiddos.
- Formaldehyde: Recognize this from high school biology? Yep, it’s used to preserve specimens, but it’s also in some nail polishes to harden them. If you’ve ever gotten itchy skin after a nail session or had a coughing fit, formaldehyde might be the culprit. And in the long run, it’s not something we want to be around often.
Thinking Green: Nail Polish and Mother Earth
Beyond our family’s health, I started thinking about the planet our kids are inheriting. Those nail polish bottles? They’re not the easiest to recycle. And if you’re using nail polish remover, be mindful of where it goes. Tossing it down the sink might not be the best as it can end up contaminating our water.
Making Better Choices: Avoiding Toxins in Nail Polish
Alright, so where does this leave us? First, don’t panic! There are brands out there offering polishes free from these toxins in nail polish. You might see labels like “3-Free” or “5-Free”, which basically tell you how many of the harmful chemicals are not in there. Always a good sign!
Also, just a dad tip: when you’re having a nail polish session, maybe crack open a window. Those fumes can be strong, and a bit of fresh air never hurt anyone.
Wrapping it Up
So there we have it, folks. Nail polish: fun, and colorful, but something to be aware of. We’ve all been navigating parenthood together, and these little tidbits of knowledge can go a long way. Stay safe, keep those nails flashy, and until next time!
- Turner, L. & Lupton, D. (2011). Like putting a drop of poison into a person’s life: Exploring women’s perceptions of chemical exposure from beauty products. Health, Risk & Society, 13(7-8), 637-654.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). (2003). Toluene. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Yost, Erin E et al. “Hazards of diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) exposure: A systematic review of animal toxicology studies.” Environment international vol. 125 (2019): 579-594. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2018.09.038
- IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. “Formaldehyde, 2-butoxyethanol and 1-tert-butoxypropan-2-ol.” IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans vol. 88 (2006): 1-478.
- “Acetone.” DCCEEW, www.dcceew.gov.au/environment/protection/npi/substances/fact-sheets/acetone.
- Khalid, Madiha, and Mohammad Abdollahi. “Environmental Distribution of Personal Care Products and Their Effects on Human Health.” Iranian journal of pharmaceutical research : IJPR vol. 20,1 (2021): 216-253. doi:10.22037/ijpr.2021.114891.15088