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Nail polish is notorious for its toxic chemicals and harmful ingredients. One of the most harmful substances found in this beauty product is toluene. This chemical is part of the “toxic-trio,” which refers to the three most dangerous ingredients found in many nail polish brands today. The toxic trio consists of toluene, DBP (dibutyl phthalate) and formaldehyde. This article explains what the chemical toluene is and its purpose, why it should be avoided as much as possible (particularly during pregnancy) and what other alternatives are available for women who are health-conscious or sensitive to the chemical toluene.

Toluene – why it is used

The reason why many beauty companies include toluene as an ingredient in their nail polish is because it is a solvent which assists in the smooth application of nail polish and also acts as a thinner.

Why Toluene is a dangerous chemical

The facts about toluene are rather concerning and would make most people think twice about buying normal over-the-counter nail polish brands again. This abrasive chemical comes from petroleum, so the toxic smell is bad enough in itself. Associated risks of toluene are liver and kidney order lsz online damage, irritation of the skin, headaches, dizziness and birth defects. High levels of toluene exposure can cause brain lesions, behavioural abnormalities and a wide range of other possible side effects. Much research has been done in this area and exposure to toluene should be kept to an absolute minimal. Be aware also that toluene is often an ingredient in certain household products, paints and solvents – so exposure can accumulate.

Is it a necessary ingredient?

Toluene is not a necessary component in nail polish as there are several brands available these days that do not include this harmful substance as one of their ingredients. So thankfully you do not have to go polish free in order to avoid this chemical. Rather, you simply have to know your alternatives and get to know the chemical-free brands available on the market today.

Is nail polish during pregnancy safe (including toluene)?

Pregnant women should avoid wearing nail polish containing chemicals of the infamous “toxic-trio”, including toluene. Toluene has been linked to birth defects with women who have had over-exposure to this harmful solvent. Therefore pregnant women should avoid going to salons which use polish containing toluene, and should also avoid typical nasty brands on the market. Even low-level exposure of toluene could be potentially harmful to the developing fetus. Mothers should be diligent in researching chemical-free alternatives and only applying these during pregnancy. This will guard against possible fetal development damage that may otherwise result.