The Consumers’ Foundation yesterday said 28 percent of the nail polish sold on the market is not properly labeled, and one type contains plasticizer chemicals that could potentially pose a serious health threat.
The group recently inspected 25 types of nail polish sold at retail chains, cosmetic stores and hypermarkets to check their labeling and whether the information on the labels accurately described the contents.
The foundation said that one type of nail polish, called A-P-X Nail Polish (619), had dibutyl phthalate at amounts exceeding the legal maximum limit of 100 parts per million (ppm).
A-P-X Nail Polish is manufactured in Japan and was sold at the retail chain Hands Tailung, which has taken the product off the shelves after being informed that it was sub-standard.
Dibutyl phthalate is a plasticizer chemical that may pose serious health risks if absorbed into the body — a risk for someone wearing nail polish containing the harmful chemical on their nails, said Joann Su (蘇錦霞), chairperson of the foundation.
Plasticizer chemicals, also known as environmental hormones or chemicals that act as endocrine disruptors, can increase the risk of cancer, the foundation said. Research has shown that people who are over-exposed to such chemicals may have a higher risk of breast cancer or endometrial cancer, which is cancer in the lining of the uterus.
The foundation said that phthalates, which are sometimes added to nail polish to increase its flexibility and allow the surface of the polished nail to appear glossy and smooth, have been shown to be disruptive to hormonal levels and cause birth defects, which is why pregnant women are advised not to wear nail polish.
Seven of the nail polishes examined (28 percent) were not properly labeled with manufacturer information, usage instructions and ingredients, in accordance with the Statute for Control of Cosmetic Hygiene (化粧品衛生管理條例), the foundation said.
The foundation said that authorities could demand that the manufacturers make improvements and that products be taken off the shelves or face fines of up to NT1.5 million (US$50,000).