A hypothetical scenario: Recently I saw a commercial for cancer-fighting nail polish.
The ad said that most polishes contain cancer-causing toxins, and since I frequently paint my nails, I found this disturbing.
The product is pricey, but I’ll foot the cost if my regular polish is dangerous. Should I switch, or is this just a gimmick? Can a nail polish really prevent cancer?
Answer: We haven’t seen any research suggesting that a nail polish can boost the body’s immunity to protect against disease. But polish ingredients such as dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and toluene have been linked to hormonal disruption as well as kidney and liver problems.
And formaldehyde is “reasonably anticipated” to be a carcinogen, according to the National Toxicology Program. However, it’s unclear whether these chemicals are absorbed into the body through polish use.
And no studies have reported higher cancer rates in women who wear polish. That said, it can’t hurt to avoid these chemicals, and several brands are now made without DBP, toluene and formaldehyde. [source: First]