Why Getting A Manicure Could Be Dangerous
Is getting a manicure safe? Should we be adorning our nails in layers of Shellac and Gel? False Acrylic Nails, are they leaving us open to serious infections? What about the chemicals in nail polishes and acetone’s? This article will shed some light on Why Getting A Manicure Could Be Dangerous .
Nowadays you can adorn your fingernails and toenails in so many creative ways. You can coat your nails in Shellac or Gels, apply the new, magnetic nail polishes, glue on acrylic nails and decorate your nails with nail art! But are these products that make our talons look so pretty safe and did you know that many of these products are still tested on animals?!
The Dangers Of UV Lamps Used To Set Artificial Nails
Artificial Acrylic and Gel Nails are both unhealthy options, it seems the major concern is the ingredient Methyl Methacrylate, this ingredient was originally replaced by a safer alternative, but the fact is that it has had a resurgence due to the fact it has better staying power. Read this consumer alert on the dangers of Methyl Methacrylate. If this isn’t off-putting enough, medical evidence has shown that artificial nails harbor more bacteria and fungus’s than natural nails.
The danger is not only the chemicals used, but the ultra-violet lamps that are used to set fake nails and the newest craze in nail products, Shellac Nail Polishes.
There has been a link to skin cancers found on the hands of women who get regular manicures that consist of painting with Shellac and the constant exposure to UV lamps.
Read this reports about the link to skin cancer from ultra-violet lamps.
Then to top things off you have Acetone (nail polish remover), according to the EWG, Acetone shows strong evidence of being a human neurotoxin.
Another thing to take very seriously are the infections that can by picked up at a nail salon that is not up to scratch with its hygiene practices.
Serious Infections Caused From Having Artificial Nails
- Badly fitted false nails can cause terrible damage to the nail bed and affect natural nail growth.
- Fungal infections can develop between the natural nail and the false nail.
- Trauma can be caused to the natural nail bed when false nails are accidentally, scraped bumped and pulled from the natural nail bed. Once this happens fungus and bacteria set it.
- Did you know that in some hospitals, employees are banned from having artificial nails, due to the risk of them harbouring infection that can be passed onto patients.
In the 1990’s a nurse’s acrylic nail infection was believed to be passed onto several premature infants, causing their tragic death.
“..Some ingredients in acrylic nails are highly flammable, so they must be kept at a distance from hair straighteners, dryers or curling irons, as well as from heat and flames when cooking [source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration]...” http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/nail-care/health/acrylic-nails-bad-for-health.
Hepatitis C Transmission In Nail Salons
There is even the concern of cross contamination from nail salons and exposure to the life-threatening disease Hepatitis C. This can occur through the spread of blood on instruments if a manicure salon does not sterilize their manicuring and pedicuring tools adequately. Although this is a low risk, it is till listed by medical experts as a real risk.
Another concern is that even though our nails aren’t porous our cuticles are and our digestive systems definitely absorb the hazardous chemicals in the various nail products. While we don’t eat nail polish, we do constantly prepare food with our hands and eat with our fingers, so inadvertently we may unknowingly be ingesting a fair bit of nail product.
Nail Polish Samples Tested and Found To Contain Toxic 3 Chemicals
Many nail manufacturers actually claim and label their nail products as non-toxic and safe, but this report by MedicineNet.com exposes that not all nail manufacturers practice the honesty code of ethics. Twenty five brands of nail polish samples were tested for three chemicals; Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Toluene and Formaldehyde, — commonly called the ”toxic trio”, and all but two samples came back with either some or all of the above listed dangerous chemicals.
Another wonderful organization, trying to protect the consumer is the EWG and the Enviromental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Data Base has ingredient reports on thousands of products, including nail polishes. This EWG report shows a breakdown of harmful ingredients of a very popular brand of nail polish and also all the negative health effect each ingredient has on the human body.
This analysis of dangerous ingredients in a well known nail glue for do-it -yourself, fake nails by EWG shows you just how toxic many of the other products commonly used for manicuring the nails can be.
Just to confirm the hazards if you had any doubts, check out the ingredient breakdown again by the wonderful team at EWG of this well know nail polish remover here.
Extremely Dangerous DBP Still Found In Nail Polishes
A few years back there was a European Union ban on DBP in nail products, as the Union deemed that DBP is extremely dangerous to human health, (read the Environmental Working Groups report on DBP). DBP can still be found in nail products sold in other countries.
How To Have A Safer, Less Toxic, Manicure
Obviously the easiest and safest thing to do would be to leave your nails natural and to file and cut them yourself, but if you do wish to paint, or to get your nails professionally done, there are a few steps you can take to minimize your exposure to hazardous chemicals and your risk of picking up an infection.
- Make sure the polishes you use, or your manicurist salon uses are as natural as possible and of course approved by Cruelty Free International and their Leaping Bunny Programme. I recommend Sienna Byron Bay and Kester Black.
- Do not personally use, or allow your manicurist to use any brand of polish that contains DBP, or Formaldehyde.
- Avoid getting acrylics & gel nails.
- Although the Shellac polishes themselves are meant to be a healthier and safer option to conventional products, the fact they need to be set using a UV Lamp is dangerous, so best avoided. If you really must have it done, some recommend applying high protection sunscreen to the hands first, (of course this should be a natural and preferably nano-particle free sunscreen).
- Either provide your own nail file, cuticle trimmer and clippers when you go for a professional manicure, or make sure you check into the sterilization methods used in the salon. All equipment such as cuticle trimmers, files, scissors etc… should be autoclaved. This article here on Manicure Safety is definitely worth a read as it has some great advice, but please note that we do not recommend any of the products they advertise. Please not wiping equipment down with alcohol or a disinfectant with not kill Hepatitis C.
- Make sure the area you, or your manicurist works in is well ventilated. The dust from filing artificial nails as well as the fumes, are also hazardous.
- I ADVISE PREGNANT WOMAN to avoid manicures altogether while pregnant and TO NOT GET ACRYLICS DONE. Even though this article from eHOW shows you how to minimize the risks of getting manicures when pregnant, we believe in reading between the lines and feel that there is enough evidence in their article to suggest that it is definitely best to avoid getting acrylics altogether when pregnant!
- Use an Acetone free nail polish remover like Fresh Therapies Nail Polish Remover .
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