Well, Paint Us Encouraged!
We're in the throes of spring- the grass is
greening, trees are exploding with color, chicks are hatching... It's a
time of new beginnings for nature, and apparently for some large
cosmetics companies as well!
After receiving letters, postcards, e-mails,
phone calls and some foot-stomping from you, nail polish maker OPI said
in March that it would remove toluene, a chemical that can disrupt a
woman's ability to reproduce and which is linked to birth defects, from
That's the second highly toxic chemical OPI has
agreed to remove. The company announced last
August that it was phasing out dibutyl phthalate (DBP),
linked to birth defects and fertility problems.
OPI now knows safety is important to customers
and salon workers—recent ads for new polish colors even include the
line, "Contains no DBP, toluene or formaldehyde."
This is definitely progress, but what the fine
print doesn't say, is that while OPI has removed all three chemicals
from their nail polish, they still use formaldehyde - a known carcinogen
- in some of their nail hardeners. But safer alternatives exist! OPI
even sells formaldehyde-free versions of these hardeners, marketing them
to people with sensitive skin.
In a March letter to Campaign for Safe
Cosmetics partner Women's Voices for the Earth, OPI wrote, "rather than
getting mired in the question of whether the old formulas were safe, I'm
sure you will agree it is more important to focus on the future, which
Yes, but it would be brighter, brilliant even,
if OPI dumped the last chemical in the toxic trio from all of its
products. OPI told us it is still searching for an alternative to
formaldehyde in some of their nail hardeners. We're hoping that your
appreciation and attention to this important detail will nudge the
company to remove formaldehyde for good.
And if we may be so bold, how about a new OPI
color?: "Tickled Pink to be Less Toxic"
Tell OPI thanks--now let’s get the formaldehyde out
Read the letters exchanged between WVE and OPI »
getting your monthly mani-pedi? What's not to love about
relaxation and beautification, right? Well, that smell of relaxation
could be the toxic smell of nail products carrying some serious health
risks. Women of child-bearing age working in nail salons come into
contact with toxic chemicals like phthalates, toluene, formaldehyde,
acetone and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can spur
occupational asthma and decrease attention and processing skills . Read
all about it in "Glossed Over: Health Hazards Associated with Toxic
Exposure in Nail Salons," produced by our Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
partner Women's Voices for the Earth. It's an essential read for those
who frequent nail salons, work in them and care deeply about supporting
a safe and healthy workplace for all women.
Print out "Glossed Over" for yourself and give
your manicurist a copy on your next visit »