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Regulators Look to Give Nail Polish Labels a Makeover

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Regulators Look to Give Nail Polish Labels a Makeover

In some areas of the United States, nail salons dot the corner of every street. However, workers at these businesses may be in danger.

According to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, many nail products are labeled as being toxic substance-free when they actually do contain hazardous chemicals. Exposure to three specific chemicals — formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate — has been linked to numerous side effects, ranging from cancer to birth defects, a report from the agency noted.

"It is just disheartening, distressing and disturbing as a consumer and a regulator," Debbie Raphael, director of the department, told the Los Angeles Times.

The cosmetics industry is not heavily regulated, but many products contain trace amount of toxins. While one application may not be harmful, repeated exposure can lead to these side effects and nail salon employees are especially at risk.

Many cosmetics manufacturers already face brand-related issues with consumers because they test their products on animals and there are no regulations to prevent companies from lying about the practice.