nail_polish.jpgA California Department of Toxic Substances Control report has found that 10 of 12 nail polish products tested that claimed to be free of toluene actually contained it, with four of the products having dangerously high levels. Toluene, along with dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde, is part of the "toxic trio" that most reputable nail brands claim to be free of.

Exposure to the chemicals has been linked to birth defects, developmental problems, asthma and other illnesses. The main concern is for workers in nail salons who are exposed to the chemicals for long hours, but know what they can do is enough to make anyone swear off using the dangerous products.

The products named in the report include Sation 99 basecoat, Sation 53 red-pink nail color, Dare to Wear nail lacquer, Chelsea 650 Baby's Breath Nail Lacquer, New York Summer Nail Color, Paris Spicy 298 nail lacquer, Sunshine nail lacquer, Cacie Light Free Gel Basecoat, Cacie Sun Protection Topcoat, Golden Girl Topcoat, Nail Art Top-N-Seal and High Gloss Topcoat.

No Kiss and Makeup favorites are on this list, and they seem to be more generic bargain brands, which is at least a little reassuring that when you're going to a reputable salon and using a well-known brand name polish you are still safe.

For instance, Zoya Nail Polish was tested and their claims were upheld.

"Zoya Nail Polish was among the tested brands and the report clearly shows that Zoya's claim of being free of formaldehyde, DBP, toluene and camphor is accurate," a representative for the company said.

Their official statement reads:

"Since 1992, the founders at Zoya Nail Polish and Treatments have led the way with innovative product formulations that have removed potentially harmful toxins prior to US and EU regulatory mandates requiring companies to do so.

Originally formulated free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and toluene, the Zoya formulas quickly became big5free* with the subsequent removal of dibutyl phthalate and later camphor.

Today, Zoya Nail Polish and Treatments remains committed to a proactive approach to developing quality, toxin free products."

[Source: NY Daily News; Image: The Gloss]