Millions of people use a variety of beauty products in their day to day lives. However, it can be hard to know exactly what it is that you're using on your body. As well all know, there are plenty of chemicals that are unsafe to use for humans, but it can be hard to know if you're using a chemical that could have a negative effect on your body. Certain nail polishes, as it turns out, might be doing you harm.
The study on this topic was conducted by the Environmental Working Group, as well as Duke University and shows that, in some circumstances, wearing nail polish for an extended period of time can have some harmful side effects for the user.
The study in question that EWG conducted used 26 volunteers who all applied nail polish and then continued their day as normal. 10-14 hours, these volunteers were tested--and in every single one of them a substance known as triphenyl phosphate (or, TPhP ) was found.
Results Even Showed TPhP in the Urine of Volunteers
Grossly enough, the study also managed to find evidence of this substance, triphenyl phosphate (TPhP ) in the urine of the subjects who volunteered. The release states that "evidence of the chemical in the women's urine increased sharply after they applied the nail polish."
Checking the Label
When using a new product, it's important to scan the label for any chemicals that might be harmful. Unfortunately, for most of us, it can be hard to know which chemicals are fine, and which are dangerous for human application,
Although, the Label Can Be Misleading
Unfortunately, the product's label isn't always an accurate indicator of the substances inside. When this study was conducted, the researchers found that two out of the eight nail polishes that were tested on the subjects made no mention of containing triphenyl phosphate (TPhP ) on the label.
The Researchers Decided Not To Release This Information
Because the lab tested 10 samples instead of the entire product line of each nail polish brand, the researchers from Duke University where hesitant to release the names of the brands that contained TPhP despite not advertising it on the label.
What Is TPhP exactly?
TPhP is a chemical compound of the full name Triphenyl phosphate. It is used in a wide variety of settings and for a wide variety of different products, although most of these do not involve any form of human application. This raises questions as to what the risks of TPhP in nail polish might be.
Why is This Important?
There have been multiple studies that have gone on to show that the presence of TPhP can have an effect on the hormone levels of animals and mess with their natural hormonal balance. In humans, there is even talk of TPhP having an effect on the reproductive ecosystem.
Other Dangers of Triphenyl Phosphate
Additionally, triphenyl phosphate (TPhP) has been believed to contribute to various illnesses, although the exact science is still looking to confirm this link. Regardless, it's still a major concern and should be avoided until it can be proven to be harmless for human use.
Why Would TPhP Be in Nail Polish Anyway?
Triphenyl phosphate (TPhP) is used in many of its applications as a way to make products more moldable. In using it with nail polish, manufacturers are attempting to create a product that will not break when applied easily. In this case, they are trying to make your nail polish work better and last longer, although there may be unintended consequences.
TPhP as a Replacement for Worse Substances
The chemical has only been used for nail polish primarily in recent years as an alternative to worse chemicals like dibutyl phthalate--which is no longer used by most manufacturers due to it being linked to issues within the reproductive ecosystem in users.
Other Products With TPhP
Triphenyl phosphate is mostly used in other products such as fire-safe furniture covers that serves as a retardant against flames. It's used in hydraulic fluids, PVC, electronic equipment and casting resins as a way to prevent the spread of fire.
How Do the Chemicals in Nail Polish Enter Our Systems?
Usually our nails would be able to prevent something like TPhP from affecting our internal systems directly. However, because other chemical components within nail polish break down our nail to some degree, TPhP is believed to be able to pass into our system through the weakened nail, especially when applied for extended periods of time.
Using Safe Brands
Do the research required to make sure that the brand you're using is safe and prevents no serious risk of harm to you or your body when used. This is a really important step as it can be difficult to put complete faith in the manufacturer--sometimes independent research is the best way to be safe
Further studies need to be conducted to determine what the exact health risks of TPhP are. There is still a lot of data and research that needs to be conducted, and in the meantime it would be better for manufacturers to abstain from using the chemical--or, at the very least, be more clear if it is included in the ingredients.
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