Sunday, June 12, 2011


  Today when I was watching the news, they had a report about formaldehyde.  I was like, "Hmm I think that formaldehyde is in nail polish but I'm not sure..."  So I just went and looked it up.  For once, I was right.
  Formaldehyde is CH2O.  It is commonly found in building materials and as a bacteria killer and (ahem) it is found in nail polish.  Well, not all nail polish.  Some brands (namely Zoya, Wet n Wild Fastdry, Finger Paints, Orly, etc.) do not contain formaldehyde and they are commonly nicknamed 4-Free.  Don't quote me on this but I think that it might be one of the components that makes nail polish smell so strongly.

  The reason that I am telling you all this is because it was on the news today.  It was (finally) recognized by the United States government as a carcinogen.  If you are like me and didn't know what the heck a carcinogen is, then it is something that has been proven to cause cancer.  Before the U.S. had recognized it, Canada had declared it as a toxic material in 1999 and so did some countries in Europe.
  Now this kinda gets me scared.  For all you nail bloggies out there who swatch every day, use the 4-Free.  I know I sound totally hypocritical saying that (because I don't use it myself) but as of now, I can't afford to continually buy polishes as expensive as Zoya.
  Honestly, it has long been suspected to cause cancer.  But until today (or yesterday) it was not officially declared.  Girls (and boys), we have to be careful and use as little of not 4-Free nail polishes as we can.  We have to try to keep ourselves from getting cancer.

The industrial chemical formaldehyde and a botanical known as aristolochic acids are listed as known human carcinogens. Six other substances — captafol, cobalt-tungsten carbide (in powder or hard metal form), certain inhalable glass wool fibers, o-nitrotoluene, riddelliine, and styrene — are added as substances that are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens. With these additions, the 12th Report on Carcinogens now includes 240 listings. It is available at
Read more:

The report found that concerning amounts of formaldehyde could be encountered in plywood and particle boards, as well as in hair salons and in mortuaries. While the most intense source of exposure will be for workers in some manufacturing plants — who might encounter large concentrations of formaldehyde on a frequent basis — ordinary consumers should seek to avoid exposure to the chemical as well. (We reported on the Occupational Health and Safety Administration's warning in April about the Brazilian blowout hair treatment, which can expose salon workers and customers to dangerous levels of formaldehyde.) Studies of mortuary workers exposed to high levels of formaldehyde have shown increased incidences of certain kinds of rare nasal cancers.
From the New York Times:
Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, said that formaldehyde is both worrisome and inescapable. “It's the smell in new houses, and it's in cosmetics like nail polish,” he said. “All a reasonable person can do is manage their exposure and decrease it to as little as possible. It's everywhere.”
Consumers can reduce their exposure to formaldehyde by avoiding pressed-wood products or buying only those that are labeled as U.L.E.F. (ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde), N.A.F. (no added formaldehyde) or C.A.R.B. (California Air Resources Board) Phase 1 or Phase 2 compliant.
Read more:

So you don't have to totally eliminate it, but use it as sparingly as possible please!

Be 4-Free,

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