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A new study from Duke University and the Environmental Working Group has revealed the presence of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in popular nail polishes. Published in Environment International, the study looked regular brands like Sally Hansen, OPI, and Wet N Wild. What’s more, the chemicals were not only found in the nail polish, but in the bodies of the women who had painted their nails just 10 to 14 hours before being tested.

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Duke-EWG set out to test 10 nail polish samples in search of undetected chemicals, specifically triphenyl phosphate or TPHP. Eight out of the ten were found to contain TPHP. Two of those eight did not have TPHP listed on their labels, fraudulently marketing to young girls and women.

More than two dozen women who participated in the study were found with TPHP in their bodies. Each woman’s diphenyl phosphate (DPHP), the chemical that metabolizes TPHP in the body, increased a whopping seven times in order to metabolize the toxin from the nail polish.

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TPHP is commonly used in plastics, and even as a fire retardant. Nail polish manufacturers use the chemical to make their product more flexible and last longer on the nails without chipping.

Despite its durability, the presence of TPHP can be extremely disruptive to the endocrine system of women and girls, and could negatively affect hormone regulation, metabolism, reproduction and development.

+ Environmental Working Group