I hesitated when Miss M asked me to paint her nails yesterday. She told me she wanted to show all her new friends at church her beautiful nails. She clutched the red polish tightly in her hand and was ready for the ok.
I'm going through my house replacing products containing harmful chemicals with chemical-free ones, but I can't do it all at once. While in the past I have always had my toenails painted, I stopped painting them several months ago when I heard about the nasty chemicals inside. Lucky for me, it's been winter and my toes have been well hidden.
Nail polish is super stinky stuff. Strong chemical smells always make me think that whatever is causing that smell isn't good for my body. If it's not good to inhale or ingest, chances are pretty good that it isn't good for me to put on my body either. Nail salon workers wear masks when painting nails, but customers don't. Hmmm.
Makers of nail polish are slowly getting away from the worst offenders. Here's a few of the most toxic ingredients and why they are a problem.
- Toluene - It's a clear liquid also used in paint thinners that has been linked to disrupting the nervous system and may cause developmental problems. Read more here and here.
- Dibutyl phthalate - It is used in adhesives and is frequently used as a plasticizer (increases flexibility and durability in plastics). It may have negative effects on the immune, endocrine, and reproductive systems as well as human development. Read more here and here.
- Formaldehyde - Sadly, it is pretty much everywhere. Because of its simple chemical structure, it is a by-product of many chemical processes. It can cause a whole load of problems, including cancer. Read more here and here. (If it's used to preserve a dead body, then it's not good for a live one! Thanks to my human anatomy class.)
I think Miss M may need some new polish in her Easter basket. Blue is her absolute favorite color. I just might need some, too. Spring is calling my name, and my winter toes are begging for some color.
What's your favorite go-to hue?