New study says some nail polish chemicals can get inside your body

(CBS) — From the nursery to the nail salon, nail polish is popular with girls of all ages.

A new joint study by Duke University and the Environmental Working Group found chemicals in some nail polishes can get inside your body.

EWG’s Tasha Stoiber says researchers tested women for signs of the common chemical flame retardant Triphenyl Phosphate, or TPHP.

Every woman had elevated levels after they painted their nails.

“Nail polish is the only personal care product that has this chemical listed as an ingredient,” says Tasha Stoiber of the EWG.

The EWG estimates about half of all nail polishes have TPHP which is also used as a flame retardant in some foam furniture like couches.

While the group says more research is needed on the effects of this chemical in humans, animal studies indicate TPHP is linked to reproductive and developmental issues. That’s surprising news to Jenna High, who lets her kids play with nail polish.

“I was shocked. I would say that I’m pretty cautious about what I expose my kids to and nail polish is not one of the things I ever worry about,” says High.

In a statement, the group that represents nail polish manufacturers calls the research “speculative” and “misleading” and points out “[TPHP] has been widely and safely used across many industries,” including to prevent “electrical, automobile and furniture fires.”

“I think I will continue to let my kids use nail polish every once in a while because obviously they love it…but I will be more cautious about doing so,” says High. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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