nails that come with a glue containing a banned chemical for cosmetics and toys
near public schools has incensed a watchdog group on toxics and wastes.
“We find the trade of these cheap and cute nail accessories deeply worrisome as
the adhesive used to bond them on the nails poses chemical risk that young
girls who play with them are not aware of,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of
the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
“The matching glue, as indicated in the label, contains dibutyl phthalate
(DBP), a hazardous substance that is not permitted for cosmetics, toys and
childcare articles,” he said.
“What could be more infuriating is the fact that these products are being sold
to unsuspecting girls right outside their schools,” he added.
To protect young girls against toxic exposure, Dizon requested concerned city
mayors, barangay leaders and school principals to take immediate action to stop
the unlawful trade.
Test buys conducted by the group’s AlerToxic Patrollers on March 4 and 5
revealed that such dangerous products are sold from P5-10 each by
mobile vendors and “sari-sari” stores near public schools in Makati,
Mandaluyong, Manila, Pasay, Quezon, San Juan and Taguig Cities.
The group also managed to buy “Charming Nails,” “Fashion Nail,” “Fengshangmei
New Nail” and “Hong Lin Designer Nails Set” – all unregistered products with
DBP-containing adhesives – from cosmetics and toys retailers in Quiapo and
DBP, classified by the European Chemicals Agency as “toxic to reproduction,” is
banned in cosmetics, as well as in children’s articles and toys, under the
European Union’s Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC and the Regulation on
Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH),
During the past years, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Spain have prohibited
the sale of over 40 false nail products from the market because of their
Recently, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) through Advisory 2015-006
banned “Fashion Nail” artificial nail sets because the glue has DBP, which is
listed among the substances that “must not form part of the composition of
cosmetic products” as per the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD).
The regulatory action was prompted by the discovery made by the EcoWaste
Coalition on the illegal sale of “Fashion Nail” last year, which the group
eventually submitted to the FDA for confirmatory analysis in September 2014.
“Fashion Nail,” based on the market monitoring conducted by the group, is sold
in Divisoria for as low as P60 per pack of 20 and resold by retailers near
schools for as low as P5 per set.
According to the FDA advisory dated February 11, 2015, which was uploaded to
the agency’s website on March 4, “DBP has the ability to cause allergic
reactions (that) can induce a state of hypersensitivity in the immune system.”
“It can cause the immune system to respond to chemical exposures with
immunological reactions that are harmful, varying from hives to life
threatening responses such as anaphylactic shock, where low blood pressure and
breathing difficulties can result in death,” the FDA warned.
Dibutyl Phthalate: The State of California and other authoritative bodies have
classified dibutyl phthalate (DBP) as a reproductive and developmental
toxicant, and the European Union banned the use of this ingredient in cosmetics
and personal care products. In animal studies, exposure to DBP during gestation
causes infertility, cryptorchidism and problems in sperm development, adverse
effects similar to human testicular dysgenesis syndrome. Prenatal exposure to
DBP has been associated with anatomical changes in the reproductive system
development in baby boys. In adult men, DBP has been correlated with changes in
serum hormone levels, lower sperm concentration and motility, and decreased
with nearby “sari-sari” stores and street vendors selling artificial nails with
matching DBP-containing adhesives: Jose Magsaysay Elementary School and Nicanor
Garcia Elementary School in Makati City; Mandaluyong Elementary School in
Mandaluyong City; Fernando Ma. Guerrero Elementary School and Sta. Ana
Elementary School in Manila; Jose Rizal Elementary School in Pasay City; Krus
na Ligas Elementary School in Quezon City; Pinaglabanan Elementary School in
San Juan City; and Taguig Elementary School and Tipas Elementary School
in Taguig City.