Painting Your Nails Green: How to Avoid the Toxic Trio

Image: Creative Commons
Who doesn't love getting dolled up and pampered, including a trip to your local nail salon? Did you know though that your local nail salon could be a haven for toxic chemicals?   These chemicals include dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene, dubbed the "Toxic Trio." These chemicals have harmful effects on reproductive, developmental systems and even cause cancer. This trio has gained a lot of popularity lately even in the blogosphere, including a good article at chicklitmd.  Can you think of how detrimental these chemicals are on nail salon workers? According to the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, the majority of nail salon worker are Vietnamese women of reproductive age. Hopefully, things will turn start to turn around. In late July, an ordinance was introduced to recognize San Francisco nail salons that use safer products. You can help by not using harmful nail polishes at home and by educating your nail salon with info from the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative.  Below you'll find  a wallet card on how you can to Phase Out the Toxic Trio and information even in Vietnamese you can bring to your nail salon at your next visit. 


  1. This is such awesome information. I read years ago about how toxic nail polish, etc. is and since then had refrained from purchasing any ever again. To know there are now green alternatives makes me want to hop on over to the mall/store to investigate if any are available to me locally. Thanks for a very informative post.

  2. You're welcome! Please help me spread the word too about this especially to all the ladies going to the nail salon :)