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Study: Harmful Chemicals In Some Nail Polish Could Seep Into Body

LOS ANGELES ( — A joint study by Duke University and the Environmental Working Group found chemicals in some nail polishes could get inside the body.

Juanita Rodriguez of Corona said she makes sure her nails and hair are always done. So she was surprised to hear about the findings. She said she likes using nail polish. "It makes them look nice. I just like to have my nails polished. But I think people need to be aware."

The researchers said they tested women for signs of the common flame retardant, triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP. Every woman had elevated levels after they painted their nails, according t the study.

Phoebe Nelson of Riverside said: "That's a big concern mostly because I've never heard that before, and I paint my nails regularly;  I would say about once a week. I'll be on the lookout for any other news articles, any research studies about if that's really affecting humans as well."

Experts said more research is needed on the effects of TPHP in humans. Animal studies indicate the chemical is linked to reproductive and developmental issues.

In a statement, the group that represents nail polish manufacturers called the research "speculative and misleading" and pointed out that TPHP "has been widely and safely used across many industries."

The researchers said about half of all nail polishes contain TPHP, which is used to prevent electrical, automobile and furniture fires. But nail polish is the only personal care product that contains the chemical, which is supposed to help the polish be more flexible and durable.

Rodriguez said "It concerns me a little, but I'll still probably continue to do it."

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