Heading to the nail salon may be one of the highlights of your day, but recent studies have shown that you might want to be careful about what you let others apply to your nails. You may find that these substances aren't exactly environmentally friendly products conducive to living a healthy lifestyle.
According to The New York Times, many nail product manufacturers have removed what are known as "the toxic trio" of chemicals from their polishes and paints. These include formaldehyde, a carcinogen that is used to preserve cadavers, and two substances known for causing developmental defects: toluene and plasticizer dibutyl phthalate (PBD).
While researchers are quick to note that the occasional nail painting isn't going to lead to any long-term health effects, they caution that many manufacturers have yet to remove these chemicals from their polishes. As a result, doctors recommend not letting young children paint their nails, as they tend to chew on them and could potentially swallow small amounts of these subtances.
As further proof that these products are dangerous, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has an entire website dedicated to educating workers in the cosmetics industry about the risks of long-term exposure to nail products, particularly from breathing in the fumes they produce.
If you're looking for a greener alternative for nail polish that is non-toxic, you may want to check out Honeybee Gardens or Zoya, two brands that produce all-natural, healthy nail products that contain none of the toxic chemicals listed above. In general, look for items that are labeled "Three Free" or "Five Free," indicating that they aren't made with dangerous substances.