California finds mislabelling on ‘safer’ nail care products

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control has tested a sample of nail care products that are sold in the State and that claim to be toxic free and has found that most contain toxic substances.

The Department looked specifically for dibutyl phthalate (DBP) , toluene, and formaldehyde. DBP and toluene are considered to be developmental toxins. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. Twenty five products claiming to be free of one or more of these toxic substances were analyzed: the Department reports that “most of the claims cannot be substantiated”. Some of the nail care products claiming to be free of the ‘toxic trio’ of substances contained high levels of at least one of them.

Toxic substances in nail care products are a particular concern because they are widely used in salons where workers may be exposed to much higher concentrations than the home user. Interestingly, the California Department also reports that some of the products also contain other lesser known ingredients that may be as toxic or more toxic than the ‘toxic trio’.

The products tested are branded by companies with addresses in California, Texas, Ohio, and New York. To GallonDaily’s knowledge, none are distributed in Canada but we have to admit that our knowledge of nail care products is somewhat limited: no one in this organization uses them, toxic-free or otherwise.

It is not reasonable to expect that end users will conduct their own toxicity tests on such things as nail care products. Results such as those published today bring discredit to an entire industry. Until either government or the industry itself starts policing the scammers who lie about the safety of their products, GallonDaily can only suggest that end users trust such claims only when they have been verified by an independent and reputable third party.

The full California report, along with names of products and detailed test results (in the Appendices) can be found at

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