A chemical found in nail polish is ending up on more than just nails. It’s ending up in people's bodies, according to new research.
The joint study by Duke University and the Environmental Working Group found that some chemicals in polishes can get inside the body.
Tasha Stoiber of the EWG said researchers tested women for signs of triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP, a common chemical flame retardant used in foam furniture like couches.
They found that every woman had elevated levels after they painted their nails.
“Nail polish is the only personal care product that has this chemical listed as an ingredient,” Stoiber said.
The EWG estimated that about half of all nail polishes have TPHP.
While the group admitted that more research is needed on the effects of the chemical in humans, animal studies indicated that TPHP is linked to reproductive and developmental issues.
Some mothers called the research surprising.
“I was shocked,” said Jenna High, a mother. “I would say that I'm pretty cautious about what I expose my kids to and nail polish is not one of the things I ever worry about.”
In a statement, a group that represents nail polish manufacturers called the research “speculative [and] misleading” and pointed out “[TPHP] has been widely and safely used across many industries,” including to prevent “electrical, automobile and furniture fires.”
“I think I will continue to let my kids use nail polish every once in a while because obviously they love it,” High said. “But I will be more cautious about doing so.”
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