Endocrine Disruptor In Nail Polishes Gets Into Women’s Bodies
It’s not surprising that many nail polishes contain potentially toxic chemicals. Now a study conducted by researchers at Duke University and EWG finds that at least one of those chemicals could be ending up in your body.
Triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP, a suspected endocrine-disrupting chemical, is commonly used to make plastics and as a fire retardant in foam furniture. And if you wear nail polish, it could be in your body too.
Researchers at Duke University tested the urine of 26 women who had recently painted their nails and found evidence of TPHP in every participant. Evidence of the chemical in the women’s urine increased sharply after they applied the nail polish.
TPHP is listed on the ingredient labels of a wide array of nail polishes now on the market. Out of more than 3,000 nail products in EWG’s Skin Deep database, half disclose the use of TPHP.*
Nailed: Nail polish chemical doubles as furniture fire retardant
A study co-authored by researchers at Duke University and EWG has detected evidence of a common nail polish chemical called triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP, in the bodies of every woman who volunteered to paint her nails for the study.
The results represent compelling evidence that TPHP, a suspected endocrine-disrupting chemical also used in plastics manufacturing and as a fire retardant in foam furniture, enters the human body via nail polish. These results are troubling because a growing body of scientific data from other studies indicates that TPHP causes endocrine disruption, meaning that it interferes with normal hormone functioning. In animal studies, it has caused reproductive and developmental irregularities. (Some studies use the acronym TPP for this chemical.)
TPHP is listed on the ingredient labels of a wide array of nail polishes now on the market. Fully 49 percent of more than 3,000 nail polishes and treatments compiled in EWG’s Skin Deep database disclose that they contain TPHP. Even worse, some polishes contain it but don’t disclose it.
The Duke-EWG study, published October 19, 2015 in Environment International, tested 10 nail polishes in all for TPHP and found it in eight of them.
Importantly, two of the eight polishes that tested positive for TPHP did not disclose its presence on product labels. The Duke researchers decided not to make public the names of those two polishes or the six others that contained TPHP and disclosed it because the lab tested only 10 samples, not the manufacturers’ entire nail product lines. As well, the Duke team anticipated that some or all the manufacturers might update their product labels to disclose their TPHP use before the study could be published.