Nail Polish Chemicals May Cause Birth Defects and Other Serious Health Problems for Customers

Toxic Tort attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are warning of the hazardous chemicals present in most nails polishes posing a serious health risk to salon employees and clients. A large body of research suggests that salon workers who are exposed to polish chemicals on a daily basis have a heightened risk for health problems. Another recent article points out that the danger to customers cannot be underestimated, particularly customers who frequent nails salons on a weekly basis for polish or acrylic nail treatments. These customers are regularly exposing themselves to harmful chemicals that can absorb into their skin and result in major or minor birth defects.

Research shows that three standard ingredients in most nail polishes are associated with birth defects, cancer, and other chronic health problems. These dangerous chemicals are known as the “Toxic Trio,” and include toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate. Toluene is a toxin that affects the nervous system and may cause memory loss, skin irritation, and liver damage. It has also been linked to a broad range of birth defects in lab animals. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that pollutes the air and causes cancer in lab animals. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is so hazardous that it is banned in cosmetics in Europe, and several major U.S. nail polish producers have began eliminating this ingredient. However, it still remains in many brands of nail polish because it is effective at reducing chipping. Although the FDA has not conclusively linked DBP to developmental problems in humans, studies show that the toxic chemical causes lifelong reproductive problems and birth defects in lab animals, including cleft palate and deformities in the ribs and vertebra. According to the Environmental Working Group, this at least creates a presumption that DBP poses similar health problems for humans.

The dangers of toxic nail polish chemicals to salon workers were revealed in a May 2011 study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Researchers measured the health effects of nail polish exposure on salon workers from more than 20 different California nail salons. They found that the level of toxic chemicals present in the workplace was higher than the recommended guidelines and one-third of the workers experienced skin irritation and breathing problems. Long-term health consequences are still unknown.

Our birth defect lawyers know that environmental factors contribute to nearly 40 percent of all birth defects. When a pregnant mother is exposed to toxic chemicals from an environmental hazard such as nail polish, the chances of having a child with a birth defect increases and a lawsuit can be brought against the responsible parties. To succeed in a toxic tort lawsuit, you have to prove that your exposure to the chemicals present in the nail polish were unreasonably dangerous and resulted in damages such as a birth defect.

Nail salon employees are exposed to these hazardous chemicals on a daily basis, and customers who regularly frequent nail salons may also have a strong claim. Multiple parties may be liable for compensation, including the salon that exposed you to the dangerous chemicals and the nail polish manufacturer. Research shows that birth defects and other health problems may be linked to toxic nail polish exposure, and salon workers and their customers are being exposed to these harmful chemicals on a daily basis.

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