MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: what are the ingredients for nail polish and how can i use them safley?

Date: Thu Dec 11 12:30:57 2008
Posted By: Luis Sojo, Faculty, Chemistry, Simon Fraser University
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1228276987.Ch

Dear Sarah,

The ingredients in nail polish are various and its composition depends on the brand. But in general they include: nitro-cellulose (for hardening) dissolved in a solvent plus plasticizers (methacrylate and vinyl polymers), formaldehyde, camphor, acetone, ketone, toluene, suspending agents, dyes, etc. Some of the solvents in it, such as toluene, are know to be bad for your health and the environment. The fact that your nail polish dissolved Styrofoam may be due to the presence of toluene. Toluene is a known carcinogen and a strong solvent and synthetic starting block used in many industrial processes.

For more information check out:

Hope this helps.


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