Toxics in Nail Polish a Potential Danger to Women and Children

Media Contacts
Nasima Hossain

Press Statement


Washington, D.C – Statement of Nasima Hossain Public Health Advocate, on the dangers of toxins in nail polish.

An article yesterday in the San Francisco Chronicle discussed a report produced by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of Toxic Substances Control, the San Francisco Department of the Environment, the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics which found there are trace amounts of three dangerous toxins in nail polish. The toxins are toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde – all known to have adverse health effects. What is startling about the report is that nail polish that is labeled toxic free is more likely to have these toxins in them.

“Research has shown that this toxic trio can cause reproductive harm, cancer and asthma. I am very concerned that parents understand this as little girls are known to use their mother’s nail polish for dress-up or fun. In this respect parents should be careful when using these products.

“Nail polish manufacturers need to be completely honest in labeling their products. This practice of labeling nail polish “three-free” when it is not is grossly dishonest and knowingly misleads consumers and nail salon workers into thinking they are using a safe product when they are not. Women and nail salon workers should have the option to buy properly labeled safe nail polish.”