Clean Beauty

Is Your Mani-Pedi Toxic?

July 13, 2012

Is your mani-pedi toxic?

The answer is most likely yes! I like my bi-weekly mani-pedi’s as much as the next girl but unfortunately, nail polish contains carcinogenic ingredients linked to serious health risks such as cancers including leukemia, asthma, birth defects, and spontaneous abortion to name a few!

While the European Union has stricter laws and restrictions on the use of chemicals used in cosmetics the US does not take the same preventive approach, Exhibit A. This should come as no surprise considering the FDA has yet to pass required food labeling laws for genetically modified organisms (GMO) while the EU has banned GMOs all together, Exhibit B.

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website, Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC) was revised in January 2003 to ban 1,328 chemicals from cosmetics; the U.S. FDA has banned or restricted only 11.  

The personal care product and cosmetic industry are actually one of the most unregulated industries in the US. The FDA does not approve cosmetic labeling Exhibit C nor are the final cosmetic products subject to any pre-market approval for safety by the FDA, Exhibit D. Yet we rub these products on our skin, nails, and hair daily without giving it a second thought!

You’ve probably heard of the carcinogenic ‘toxic trio’

Formaldehyde is practically a household name. It has been classified as a known human carcinogen with exposure to formaldehyde associated with several cancers, including nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia, according to the National Cancer Institute, Exhbit E. Formaldehyde along with toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DPB) is also known as the ‘toxic trio‘  The European Union bans use of DPB all together. These dangerous ingredients each have their own dirty laundry list of health hazard associations including cancer, asthma, nerve damage, respiratory illness, and birth defects.

10 of the 12 products from a random sampling that claimed to be free of these three chemicals actually were not…

According to a featured report on ABC Consumer News, Exhibit F, even the so-called ‘non-toxic’ nail polishes are not safe and were found to have dangerously high levels! A list of some of the mislabeled brands is at the bottom of the article.

So the argument goes that even though these substances are well known to be cancer-causing (among other things) they are okay provided the product is used correctly. Hmmm…so the fact that your nail bed is a living breathing tissue that is porous and absorbs these substances into your bloodstream doesn’t bother anyone??

I urge you to do your own research and decide what you think is okay to put on your nails and skin. Ten minutes of internet research should be enough to convince you.  Personally, I’m on the hunt for a good ‘green or organic salon/spa’ in my area or a safe nail polish that I can take into my salon for my mani-pedis. My piggies are not going down without a fight 🙂 I live in the desert where open-toe strappy heels and flip-flops are a year-round staple!  Two brands I will be looking into are SpaRitual available at Sephora and Zoya which also has a spa locator on their site.

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