Dr. Joel Schlessinger discusses health risks associated with nail products

Medical research shows that there is a direct link between common chemicals found in nail products and the risk of serious disease. In this blog entry, Dr. Schlessinger weighs in on a recent article in The New York Times titled, “Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers,” and shares important nail salon safety tips.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger lists common nail product chemicals that are linked to health risks.

Stories of illness and tragedy have grown all too common in nail salons across the country. A cumulative and expanding body of medical research shows a direct correlation between cancer, abnormal fetal development, miscarriages and other reproductive issues. In addition, many manicurists report respiratory problems accompanied by asthma-and/or allergy-like symptoms, chronic nose bleeds and sore throats.

Chemicals that allow nail polishes and other beauty products to be chip-resistant, quick-drying and brightly colored are to blame. Dibutyl phthalate, or DBP, an ingredient that allows polishes to be pliable, is known to cause fetal harm. Toluene is a type of solvent that helps polish to glide on smoothly, but it can also cause cognitive impairment and affect healthy kidney function. Formaldehyde, a hardening agent in nail glues, is a known human carcinogen.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares tips for keeping yourself safe from harmful fumes.

Proper ventilation is crucial, both in and outside the nail salon.

“[Nail salon] fumes can cause many unintended consequences for individuals, both in the industry or in their own homes. For this reason, I recommend putting on nail polish in an open and safe area where other individuals are not present to breathe in the fumes. This includes, in particular, closed spaces such as airplanes, small rooms and cars,” says Dr. Schlessinger.

Always choose a clean, reputable salon, and one that has sufficient air circulation. Even if you do not visit often, you and others are still at risk for harmful exposure.

“When going to a nail salon, make sure that you are protected as well,” Dr. Schlessinger says. “If the salon doesn’t have adequate air movement, inquire about this and, if necessary, explain the importance of it to the owner of the salon.”

Zoya nail polishes, recommended by Dr. Joel Schlessinger, are free of harmful chemicals.

For a purer polish, try Zoya. The DBP-, toluene- and formaldehyde-free line of polishes are long-lasting and come in a variety of colors and finishes.

Posted Monday, May 11th, 2015 at 3:05 pm
Filed Under Category: Uncategorized
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