Toxins found in mislabeled nail products

California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control issued a report on Tuesday detailing the results of an investigation into the presence of the so-called “toxic trio” in several supposedly non-toxic brands of nail polish. The three chemicals—toluene, dibutyl phthalate, and formaldehyde—have been associated with birth defects and other chronic ailments.

The investigation detected toluene in 10 of 12 products that claimed to be toluene-free; four of those products were found to contain the chemical in “dangerous” amounts.

Of seven products claiming to be completely free of toluene, DBP, and formaldehyde, five contained at least one of those compounds.

The brands tested by the DTSC include:

  • Sation 99 basecoat
  • Sation 53 red-pink nail color
  • Dare to Wear nail lacquer
  • Chelsea 650 Baby’s Breath Nail Lacquer
  • New York Summer Nail Color
  • Paris Spicy 298 nail lacquer
  • Sunshine nail lacquer
  • Cacie Light Free Gel Basecoat
  • Cacie Sun Protection Topcoat
  • Golden Girl Topcoat
  • Nail Art To-N-Seal
  • High Gloss Topcoat

The adverse effects of exposure to the “toxic trio” are mainly the result of inhalation, especially in smaller, poorly-ventilated salons.

It’s clear that mislabeling products can lead to dangerous situations, both for consumers and for employees. In California, it’s also against the law; under Proposition 65, manufacturers must list potentially hazardous chemicals on product labels. The California attorney general’s office is looking into the matter, but has not decided whether to pursue legal action.

The report from the Associated Press can be found here.