Hazardous Chemicals Found in Nail Salon Products

Hazardous Chemicals Found in Nail Salon Products

Some potentially hazardous chemicals, the types of products they can be found in, and how they can affect your body include:

Acetone (nail polish remover): headaches; dizziness; and irritated eyes, skin, and throat.

Acetonitrile (fingernail glue remover): irritated nose and throat; breathing problems; nausea; vomiting; weakness; and exhaustion.

Butyl acetate (nail polish, nail polish remover): headaches and irritated eyes, skin, nose, mouth, and throat.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) (nail polish): nausea and irritated eyes, skin, nose, mouth, and throat. Long-term exposures to high concentrations may cause other serious effects.

Ethyl acetate (nail polish, nail polish remover, fingernail glue): irritated eyes, stomach, skin, nose, mouth, and throat; high concentrations can cause fainting.

Ethyl methacrylate (EMA) (artificial nail liquid): asthma; irritated eyes, skin, nose, and mouth; difficulty concentrating. Exposures while pregnant may affect your child.

Formaldehyde (nail polish, nail hardener): difficulty breathing, including coughing, asthma-like attacks, and wheezing; allergic reactions; irritated eyes, skin, and throat. Formaldehyde can cause cancer.

Isopropyl acetate (nail polish, nail polish remover): sleepiness, and irritated eyes, nose, and throat.

Methacrylic acid (nail primer): skin burns and irritated eyes, skin, nose, mouth, and throat. At higher concentrations, this chemical can cause difficulty breathing.

Methyl methacrylate (MMA) (artificial nail products, though banned for use in many states): asthma; irritated eyes, skin, nose, and mouth; difficulty concentrating; loss of smell.

Quaternary ammonium compounds (disinfectants): irritated skin and nose and may cause asthma.

Toluene (nail polish, fingernail glue): dry or cracked skin; headaches, dizziness, and numbness; irritated eyes, nose, throat, and lungs; damage to liver and kidneys; and harm to unborn children during pregnancy.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Dep’t of Labor, Stay Healthy and Safe While Giving Manicures and Pedicures A Guide for Nail Salon Workers, at 3-4 (OSHA 3542-05 2012).