PLYMOUTH, Minn. - There is concern that some nail polishes in salons may not be as safe as they're advertised. A small study out of California found high levels of toxins known to cause birth defects.
The report comes as Charmel Heltsley, campus director of the Minnesota School of Cosmetology in Plymouth said, "We really are about to embark on that time of year."
Yes, as it warms up fingernails and toenails get dressed up. Heltsley said manicure and pedicure business almost doubles in summer at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology as students apply coat after coat of colorful polish daily to customers' nails.
So of course, Heltsley wants nothing harmful within. She said, "I think these products should be virtually edible considering we keep them on our skin we put them on our hair we put them on our nails."
The school uses OPI products. Many companies like OPI say they have removed from their nail products what's being called the toxic trio: formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).
And when OPI removed them, Heltsley said she noticed the change. She said, "It did shorten the shelf life of the polish and it almost changed the consistently slightly."
She said she is happy those chemicals are gone.
However, a California state agency recently released a report that showed some of the products tested in California salons that claimed they did not contain the toxic trio actually did contain the chemicals.
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control report said five of seven nail polish products claiming not to contain the trio actually had one or more. And 10 of 12 claiming to not have toluene actually did.
Name brands included Dare to Wear, Sation and others.
It's not illegal in California to have the chemicals in products if they are labeled.
Heltsley said, "I think in some ways nothing surprises me anymore."
She is not a scientist but because Heltsley saw change in OPI products, she believes the toxic three have indeed been removed from them.
She says the desire to look beautiful won't go away so she hopes all harmful chemicals will.
A company that makes one of the products found to contain the toxic chemicals told the Associated Press it disputes the findings and will challenge it.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)