Protect the health of your children and yourself with safer Nail Polish Options by making conscious choices when it comes to your nail lacquer. When you see toddlers or other youngsters with nail polish on their digits, what’s your first thought? “Cute,” or “What was Mama thinking?” No matter which side of the fence you come down on, we’re here to share with you the straight facts on lacquer – what’s healthy, what isn’t, and what to look for.
With regard to the nail polish you wear, some varieties are “safer” than others. We say “safer” because every bottle of polish is filled to the brim with chemicals. However, the chemicals vary depending on the brand or line of polish.
Many brands of polish are “3-free,” meaning they lack three toxic chemicals that are common in other lines of lacquer. These chemicals are toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde – all known carcinogens.
Rarer but also available are some brands claiming to be “5-free,” meaning that in addition to leaving out those three toxic chemicals, they also omit formaldehyde resin and camphor. Double-check the ingredients in your polish to make sure you’re using the safest brand possible.
Phthalates like DBP pose developmental risks for young children, so some pediatricians warn against letting young kids chew on their nails if they’re wearing polish. And most little ones have a habit of sucking thumbs or otherwise placing their fingers in their mouths. Which begs the question, should you let your children wear nail polish? Ultimately, it’s your call. But if you do want to see how cute your little princess looks with polished fingernails or toenails (and it will be very cute, we’re sure!), stick to 3-free – or even better, 5-free – brands.
To discover environmentally friendly and health-conscious nail polish brands, visit the Environmental Working Group’s nail polish directory. Some top non-toxic brands with a reputation of being safe for children are Scotch Naturals, Acquarella, Piggy Paint and Suncoat.
Another thing to keep in mind: If you’re applying a chemical-filled coat of nail polish, try not to do so in close proximity to children – the fumes are not likely to cause damage if exposure is limited; however, it’s best to be cautious and keep a safe distance. Be sure to allow for plenty of ventilation if there’s an open bottle in the room.