Toxic trio of chemicals found in nail polish

Nail polish: it's -- not --  that --  innocent /
Good Morning America noted this morning that the "toxic trio" of chemicals that show up in cosmetics over & over -- despite regulation or outright ban -- have appeared once again.  It's like a game of Whack-A-Mole, but where the furry thing pops up it shoots poison.  For reference, the toxic trio includes the chemicals:
  1. formaldehyde 
  2. dibutyl phthalate (DBP) 
  3. toluene
California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) conducted a study and found a massive breach of Cal Prop 65 in nail polish products.  Named brands and specific products with trouble include:
  1. Sation 99 basecoat
  2. Sation 53 red-pink nail color
  3. Dare to Wear nail lacquer
  4. Chelsea 650 Baby's Breath Nail Lacquer
  5. New York Summer Nail Color
  6. Paris Spicy 298 nail lacquer
  7. Sunshine nail lacquer
  8. Cacie Light Free Gel Basecoat
  9. Cacie Sun Protection Topcoat
  10. Golden Girl Topcoat
  11. Nail Art Top-N-Seal 
  12. High Gloss Topcoat
This is a big deal.  Check out the details:
Investigators chose 25 brands at random, including a number of products claiming to be free of the chemicals toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde, which are known as the toxic trio. Regulators said exposure to large amounts of the chemicals has been linked to developmental problems, asthma and other illnesses.
Investigators found that 10 of 12 products that claimed to be free of toluene actually contained it, with four of the products having dangerously high levels.
The report also found that five of seven products that claimed to be "free of the toxic three" actually included one or more of the agents in significant levels.
The above is from GMA / Associated Press.

Two quotes:  "We are alarmed by the results of this report," Julia Liou, co-founder of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and a public health administrator for Asian Health Services, said in a statement. "The misbranding of products is not only a major public health problem, but also interferes with a salon worker's right to a safe and healthy work environment."

Mike Vo, vice president of Miss Professional Nail Products, Inc., the maker of the Sation products and others on the list, said he disputed DTSC's findings.

"We will look at the report and challenge it," Vo said.  Well, at least we know what to expect from that camp.  Vo did not say, "We'll review the report and consider the findings."  (Here's one of those times to consider hiring a PR agency to do the talking.)

An appeal:  Anyone who has stepped foot inside a nail salon must know it doesn't smell good.  Consumers and workers might consider using some common sense and not wait for Big Brother to point out the obvious.  So ventilate the workspace.  Use a face mask.  Go outdoors regularly and take deep breaths of clean air (that last one isn't on the M/SDS but should be!).  Be proactive with your own health and use common sense.  Manufacturers don't always have your best interests at heart.  And different countries have different ideas about your best interests.  So pay attention.

Smells bad when you walk in the door (before you get used to it)?  Then don't hang around with the doors closed, day after day after day.  On a related note, investigators recently identified more than a dozen deaths in the last 12 years associated with the use of methylene chloride in bathtub refinishing.  Similar situation.  Open the windows, people.

A manufacturer's solution:  Supply Chain Brain magazine points out that there is software technology that companies are now using to mitigate risks of this type of materials management nightmare where the toxic trio turns up in your products. Presenting a new version of Material Disclosure software, the Brain says:
...The tool provides for the automation and tracking of component, parts, substance and chemical inventories. It provides for instant structured communication by way of an integrated questionnaire and automated e-mail campaign wizard. It provides visibility into who accessed what information and when, along with alerts when a supplier has added, changed or reviewed any data. To aid in regulatory compliance, Material Disclosure displays a visual representation of bills of materials for evaluation of component-replacement scenarios. It compares data against current environmental regulatory lists. Advanced threshold alerts and notification signals inform the user when inventory is near or exceeding a limit.
Whatever Vo and his company does next, it's not going to be cheap.   Here's yet another example where investing in prevention and risk management systems clearly would've paid off.  Because it's hard to do things right (in this case, to make products without risky chemical ingredients) without the right tools to do those things.