Study says nail polish chemicals can end up harming the body

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – We’re learning what comes out of the nail polish bottle ends up not just on your nails, but inside your body. This comes from a joint study through Duke University and the Environmental Working Group.

They say a toxic chemical enters your body with the swipe of that nail polish brush. Erin Burns from Cheektowaga said, “I was more aware of skin care products, but I had never heard of any sort of nail polish that there was a concern.”

For some women, learning about the new study was a surprise. The chemical is called triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP.  It’s is widely used in nail polish for durability and flexibility. But it is also used as a flame retardant and in manufacturing plastics.

Tasha Stoiber with the Environmental Working Group said, “Nail polish is the only personal care product that has this chemical listed as an ingredient.”

Having nice looking nails is a necessity to some women.  Some say not using nail polish is a major “don’t.”

I have to have my nails look professional so I can’t have chipped nail polish. So I actually do it myself, or my mom does it for me,” said Jessica Lapiano from Buffalo.

The debate is now over exposure. The Personal Care Council, the lead organization representing the global cosmetics industry, doesn’t believe that nail polish is an important contributor to long-term TPHP exposure.

But those behind the study say the average woman paints her nails once a week, which could be enough to be harmful.

Lapiano said, “Anything you use on your body has been tested to make sure they’re not dangerous. So i’m kind of under the impression that things on the market are safe for you. I guess i’m more trusting then most people, I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”

Burns said, “I guess i’ll start look at the ingredients on the nail polish bottles just to see what’s in it.”

More research is needed: Animal studies find the chemical is linked to reproductive and developmental issues, but the jury is still out on how exactly this effects humans.

The chemical is found in some of the more popular brands including, Sally Hansen, OPI, Essie, and Maybelline.

For the full study, you can find it on the Environmental Working Group website. 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s