Your concerns: Is it true that nail polish can cause cancer?

Dear doctor; My teenage daughters want to use nail polish, but I have heard that many nail polishes can cause cancer. Is it safe for my daughters to use it? Doreen

Dear doctor;

My teenage daughters want to use nail polish, but I have heard that many nail polishes can cause cancer. Is it safe for my daughters to use it?

 

Doreen

 

Dear Doreen,

 

Your concern is correct. In a bid to beautify their nails, women worldwide have resorted to using nail polish. But research shows that it can be harmful.

Chemical ingredients in nail polish range from those causing cancer to those disrupting the hormonal balance of the body. Toulene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate, present in nail polish have been identified to be toxic by researchers. Toulene is responsible for the smooth finish of the polish. It is damaging to the nervous system as well as reproductive system. Formaldehyde is a known cancer producing substance. Dibutyl phthalate has been linked to reproductive problems.

Apart from these 3, there are many other harmful chemicals present in nail paints. Though present in small amounts, it can cause allergy to the user or anybody coming in contact with it. The risk of harmful effects increases with duration and quantity of exposure. For instance the workers in beauty salons are at a greater risk.

Usually at a young age, the entire body including nails of a young lady are naturally beautiful. It is a better idea to keep them healthy and naturally glowing. Paints can be used in later years of life.

Dr Rachna Pande  is a specialist in internal medicine at Ruhengeri Hospital

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