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Are there any well-founded studies that authoritatively demonstrate negative effects from the use of nail polish, particularly in children?

I've been brought into the fray of a couple of folks who are having a rather serious debate of whether or not a child of 6 or 7 years of age should be allowed or discouraged from wearing traditional (not the "safe brands") nail polish. It was my opinion that it is better err on the side of caution and that one should rather be safe than sorry, opting for safer non-toxic alternatives if fingernail paint must be worn by such a young child.

The debate has boiled over into allegations of quack science and over-caution. Seems absurd to me, but I wanted to do some more research into the biology of the matter.

A recent report appears to urge on the side of caution, but could someone help to point me in the right direction with regards to substantiating valid scientific claims and studies that fingernail polish can, has and/or does contain harmful material that should not warrant careless usage, especially by younger children who may be more hormonally susceptible to adverse effects?

I'm really looking to button up the "quack" or kooky science arguments if possible and to put this debate to proverbial rest.

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    $\begingroup$ I seriously doubt you will find any peer-reviewed data on this as no one would be willing to fund the research. You may get a public health department looking into the claims of health issues, but there you will tend to have politics tainting the answers. If you look at the controversy that was generated this year with the NY Times exposé on Nail Salons, there was a response at the state level, so maybe the New York City or State health departments issued reports on the chemicals involved. That may be your best bet to finding a source that is even remotely scientific. $\endgroup$ – AMR Dec 2 '15 at 6:06
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    $\begingroup$ You may want to start by Googling Material Safety Data Sheets for Nail Products. Here is one of the links that came up. nsinails.com/nail-lab/science-of-beauty/… . Also OSHA has issued safety guidelines for salon workers osha.gov/Publications/3542nail-salon-workers-guide.pdf $\endgroup$ – AMR Dec 2 '15 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ I wouldn't have thought that the nail polish is a problem. What might be a better reason for caution from a dermatological point of view is the nail polish remover, which is a known allergen. "In addition to blister formation, polish removers may cause irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, onycholysis, paronychia, and brittleness. They represent a fire hazard and may cause systemic toxicity following excessive inhalation." $\endgroup$ – James Dec 2 '15 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ That website looks like it is about scare-mongering. I can't read beyond the abstract of the study, but people are exposed to trace amounts of all kinds of chemicals all the time. You can't avoid them all, and you don't need to, if there is no evidence of harm. Honestly, the kids are far more likely to suffer harm swimming or bike riding than from wearing nail polish. $\endgroup$ – swbarnes2 Dec 2 '15 at 22:05

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