Nail polish often contains formaldehyde (an established carcinogen), toluene (also linked to cancer) and dibutyl phthalate, which, in addition to causing potential birth defects in male children, is also harmful to shellfish and fish. In fact, the toxicity of dibutyl phthalate (DBP) was considered significant enough for it to be banned in the European Union (but not here). However, due to public concern and successful campaigning by groups like the Breast Cancer Fund and the Environmental Working Group, major cosmetic companies like L’Oreal and Revlon have agreed to begin removing DBP from their products.
PeaceKeeper makes a green nail polish called nail paint that offers vegan friendly colors, FD&C free ingredients, and raises money for charity. If you just like the manicure look of shaped and polished cuticles and nails, Yes! magazine has an alternative, chemical-free do-it-yourself version of a French manicure here.
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