Girls and women beware: the glue you are using to put on those pretty artificial fingernails might contain a banned chemical that is classified as a reproductive toxin.
“False nails may be fun to put on and nice to look at. A word of caution, though: the nail adhesive used to bond the fake nails may be dangerous to your health,” stated Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, a toxics watchdog.
The group aired this warning after recently bumping into an assortment of plastic nails, with no market authorization from the Food and Drugs Administration, at the bargain toy section of Lucky Chinatown Mall in Divisoria, Manila.
The product comes in 20 small plastic packets with 6 or 12 pieces of decorated nails and a small tube of nail adhesive inside. The product, which is attached to a cardboard sheet, sells for P50 to P80 per set, or P2.50 to P4 per packet.
While the product information is sparse, the following chemical ingredients of the nail adhesive are enumerated on the tube label: acetone, carboxylated vinyl resins, hexamethylene, methyl ethyl ketone and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).
“The glue’s orange label includes the precautionary warning ‘keep out of reach of children,’ but the product itself is being sold in toy stores and often bought with the intent of re-selling to kids,” observed Lucero.
DBP, classified by the European Chemicals Agency as “toxic to reproduction,” is banned in cosmetics, as well as in child articles and toys, under the European Union’s Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC and the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), respectively. The EU also considers DBP as “dangerous for the environment” and “very toxic to aquatic life.”
Citing information from RAPEX, the EU’s rapid alert system for dangerous non-food products, the EcoWaste Coalition said that the Czech Republic has banned 36 false nail products imported from China from 2012 to date because the glue contains DBP and duly warned consumers of the risk.
In California, USA, DBP is among the list of chemicals that is known to the state to cause reproductive or developmental toxicity and require label warnings, the EcoWaste Coalition further noted.
As per its material safety data sheet (MSDS), DBP is absorbed by the body through eye or skin contact, ingestion and inhalation.
Chronic exposure may cause damage to the kidneys, liver and the central nervous system. It may further cause adverse reproductive effects and birth defects (teratogenic), and may also affect genetic material (mutagenic).
The group also expressed concern over the presence of acetone, another reproductive toxin, in the nail adhesive.
AS per acetone MSDS, the substance is toxic to central nervous system, and may be toxic to other organs, warning that repeated or prolonged exposure to acetone can produce target organs damage.