Nail Polish Ingredient Linked To Low Sperm Count, Hormone Disruption

Nail Polish contains Triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), an ingredient that can disrupt hormones, says a study. TPHP is the new word in the vocabulary of researchers who have been studying the ill effects of nail polish. There is evidence that this chemical, that is found in about 1,500 nail products available in the market (including polish) can affect reproduction, development, metabolism, and hormones, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has said.

That’s right, a manicure that ends with some nail paint may sound appealing after a long week, but think about the side effects before you hit the salon. A study at the University of Michigan School of Public Health said that men exposed to TPHP had lower sperm counts and produced prolactin, a hormone stimulating breast milk production in women.

The scientists exposed rats to a mixture containing TPHP before and after birth, and what they found was increasingly disturbing. The females in the rats went through early puberty, which is an indication of hormonal irregularities.

Nail Polish Causes Hormonal disruption
The experiments with zebrafish at the Seoul National University in South Korea had some mind-boggling findings. The exposure to TPHP altered sex, which could be related to reproductive disruption.

Tasha Stoiber, with the Environmental Working Group, said that “Nail polish is the only personal care product that has this chemical listed as an ingredient.”

“The researchers at Duke University went as far as testing the urine of 26 women who had recently painted their nails and what they found completely shocked them. They found TPHP in every participant. The amount of TPHP increased after immediate use.”

“If there is a certain brand you like, get on the computer, look it up and see what ingredients are in those nail polishes,” said Joezette Hite of Crave Salon in South Tampa, KXAN reported. TPHP is a common ingredient in plastics and fire retardants. It’s often used in furnitures, too. However, if you wear nail polish, the toxic chemical could make its way into your body.

The study has pointed out that even if an average woman paints her nails once a week, it’s enough to cause her harm.

The EWG has reported that this rogue chemical found in nail polish is hard to avoid because a total of 10 million pounds of TPHP was produced in 2012. This substance is structurally similar to tributyltin — a substance which is said to contribute to obesity because it can alter the fat accumulation process in the body.

nail polish harmful
The EWG also said that there are several brands that do not list TPHP as one of the ingredients in nail polish.

“According to EWG, the brands that sell nail polish with TPHP are: Maybelline, Revlon, Wet N Wild, Orly, Nuance by Salma Hayek and a few more.”

EWG labels this chemical as an “Endocrine Disrupter.” So, what exactly are Endocrine Disrupters? The endocrine system controls several functions in our body by regulation of hormones. Thyroid, adrenal and pituitary are a few of the glands that regulate these hormones in our body. The proper functioning of these systems is important for metabolism, development, growth, and sexual function.

Endocrine disruptors block or even mimic the action of natural hormones, causing several problems with the natural workings of the body, Augusta Free Press has reported.

“Given the overwhelming evidence of unacceptable risk, I’m quite frankly surprised that atrazine is even still in use,” said Dr. Tyrone Hayes, professor of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley and the study’s lead author. Nail polish is one such ingredient which is used in day to day life and cause hormonal disruption.

Do you think you will be using nail polish after knowing that it may, in fact, be bad for you?

[Photo by Sergey Nivens/Shuttershock]