While nail polish poses some risks to the environment, it is much more dangerous to humans. Environmentally, nail polish does not deplete the ozone or cause harm to nature. However, when the fumes of nail polish are released, specifically the chemical toluene, they contaminate the air with harsh chemicals that are dangerous to humans. Nail polish used in extremely large quantities would be dangerous to the environment, but present usage does not pose a threat to the ozone or ecosystems of the earth.
The Environmental Dangers
Nail polish can put one in risk of multiple health problems. This is a result of the multiple harmful chemicals found in nail polish. Ingredients such as Toluene, formaldehyde, and Acetone have serious effects and can cause nervous system problems, eye irritation, throat and lungs irritation, allergic reactions, cancer, heart problems, and thyroid disorders. Nail polish is especially potentially harmful to pregnant women because of the chemical, dibutyl phthalate or DBP, which in a lab study found that the chemical caused lab animals to produce a higher number of offspring with birth defects, especially in males. Another study found that this chemical could cause premature puberty in young girls. While nail polishes are regulated by the U. S. Food and Drug Association, manufacturers are not required to prove that their products are safe for consumers. Therefore, it is essential that before buying nail polish, one reads the ingredients and chemicals in the product.
The Health Risks
However, although nail polish is safe to the environment for the most part, there are eco-friendly and safer nail polishes that can be purchased. When shopping for nail polish, look for nail polishes that do not include toxic chemicals and advertise natural and safe ingredients.