Phoenix, AZ (April 10, 2012) The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has issued a report entitled “Summary of Data and Findings from Testing of a Limited Number of Nail Products” that is critical of a few, smaller nail polish salon brands for inaccurately declaring that they do not contain toluene or dibutyl phthalate (DBP). The Professional Beauty Association’s (PBA) – Nail Manufacturers Council (NMC) does not disagree with the quantitative results of the laboratory testing, including the absence of detectable levels of  formaldehyde in any of the products, however, it strongly objects to the report’s lack of perspective and balance.

Both the United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) and the Expert Panel of the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) consider levels of toluene in nail polish up to 50% (500,000 PPM) to be safe. Furthermore, the USFDA has concluded there is no compelling evidence that DBP as used in nail polish at levels up to 5% (50,000 PPM) poses a safety risk. With the exception of one brand that maintains very low market share, all the DTSC reported findings are significantly below these levels, if found at all. The report further does not reference the USFDA or CIR determinations, which would provide readers with proper context.

While the NMC reiterates its belief in accurate labeling and does not regulate member companies, most of the nail polish industry, led by all of the major salon brands, reformulated their nail polish products several years ago to eliminate these two ingredients. Instead of acknowledging these greener, more environmentally responsible products, the DTSC has chosen to focus media attention on a few, peripheral brands with limited market share, which inaccurately claim to have removed such chemicals.

“NMC condemns any manufacturer misleading customers about the ingredients in their products,” stated Myra Irizarry, PBA’s Director of Government Affairs. “The public should, however, be aware that nearly the entire nail polish industry voluntarily took steps years ago to remove toluene and DBP from their products.”

Irizarry responded to the DTSC report by unequivocally affirming: “The safety and satisfaction of consumers and the many dedicated salon professionals who apply nail products, are the highest priority for us. To promote their well-being, the nail industry has continuously sought to formulate products that go well beyond minimal safety standards set by government regulators. The voluntary elimination of toluene and DBP in nail products is just one such example of our commitment.”

“We are troubled that the DTSC has evidently chosen to work closely with certain special interest groups in this report, while deliberately avoiding the input of industry experts and manufacturers,” said Doug Schoon, President of Schoon Scientific, a leader in product development and regulatory consulting. Schoon stressed that, “The most relevant health-related concerns in nail salons are not ingredients, but ventilation, sanitation, education, and work practices. NMC members have worked hard not only to re-formulate their products, but to reach out and educate nail technicians and consumers, in many languages, about best practices.”

An additional factual statement regarding this issue is provided. Additional resources, along with these documents, regarding nail products and best practices and procedures for nail care in professional salons/spas can be found at www.probeauty.org/nmc. (Several reports are in multiple languages.) For questions regarding
use and ingredients relating to individual products, please consult the manufacturer directly.