Over the last few years, studies and journalistic exposes have raised awareness about negative health effects caused by chemicals in our most common household products. Harmful chemicals have even been identified in personal care products that are put directly in or on to our bodies, where they can be quickly absorbed into our bloodstream.Nail treatments and nail polishes can be the worst culprits—the hard, shiny surface you get from a nail treatment can be a mix of dangerous chemicals. These chemicals include hormone disrupters, skin irritants, and even neurotoxins. One common neurotoxin present in nail care products is toluene.
From Formula 1 Racing to Your Fingertips.
Toluene is a solvent—a chemical that dissolves other components of the nail treatment or polish, and then evaporates, leaving behind the dissolved solids. Toluene is found in paint thinners, rubber, printing ink, and in gasoline as an additive. It has even been used as the fuel in Formula 1 racing cars and as a coolant for certain nuclear reactors. Strong stuff, and you’ve probably put it on your fingers more than once in your life.In a nail treatment, toluene makes the nail product paintable, then evaporates to leave behind a hard shiny shell. While it evaporates, it releases its chemicals into the air in the form of a gas. Your average at-home manicurist isn’t going to get a big dose of the stuff on a regular basis, but a professional nail technician will inhale a lot of toluene in her working life.
What Toluene Can Do To You
Toluene does a lot of damage to your central nervous system and your brain—that’s why it’s classified as a neurotoxin. It causes a hallucinatory high in heavy concentrations and can also cause headaches or dizziness with repeated exposure. It likes to hang out in your fatty tissues, too, so its effects can last a long time even after your headache wears off. Toluene is known to damage the kidneys, and there’s some evidence unborn babies are at risk of kidney damage from it as well.
Ready to Throw Out Your Nail Strengthener?
If it contains toluene, you certainly should, but there are non-toxic, non-toluene containing formulas out there that can strengthen weak nails (or, if it’s polish you want, brighten them up).
Try Grow Tougher or all the other nail treatment products from Nail-Aid [LINK}. We have always made non-toxic nail treatments to help you lower your daily dose of killer chemicals.Spread the love, and recommend these safer, toluene-free products to your salon technicians, too. They’ll probably be glad to use nail products that can’t do double-duty as nuclear plant coolant.