Advocacy Cosmetics Lifestyle Toxic Products

EcoWaste Coalition Warns Against Artificial Nail Sets with Toxic Glue

6 June 2019, Quezon City.  The EcoWaste Coalition today exposed the illegal sale of cheap artificial nail sets with accompanying adhesive that contains a substance banned in cosmetic products.

This exposé came on the heels of the group’s latest test buy in Divisoria, Manila that netted unlabeled and unregistered false fingernail products with matching glue containing dibutyl phthalate (DBP)as shown on the label.

Through a letter sent to the Food and Drug Administration – Center for Cosmetic Regulation and Research (FDA-CCRR), the group reported the sale of artificial nail sets bearing the names “Beauty Nail,” “Don,” “Nail Salons,” “Nail Style,” and “Splendid Nails,” and costing P12.50 to P50 per set.  The items were procured on June 5, 2019 from retailers located at 11/88 Shopping Mall and Lucky Chinatown Shopping Mall.

“The adhesive that is used to attach the artificial nail to the real one contains DBP, a chemical that has been linked to endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive disorders, and even cancer,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“We advise consumers, especially girls and women, to shun such products that can expose them to potential harm,” he added.

DBP is not allowed as an ingredient in cosmetics under the European Cosmetics Directive, as well as in the  ASEAN Cosmetics Directive where is it listed among the substances that “must not form part of the composition of cosmetic products,” Dizon noted.

The FDA in 2015 issued an advisory on unnotified DBP-containing adhesive, saying that “DBP has the ability to cause allergic reactions” and warning that “there were previous cases where allergic response to DBP was found to be severe.

“Allergic reactions 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 further warned.

DBP is listed by the EU as an endocrine-disrupting compound of high concern.  According to studies, DBP has been shown to cause proliferation of breast tumor cells and to make anti-estrogen treatments less effective against tumors.

To prevent further distribution and sale of this dangerous product, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the FDA to:

1.  Conduct post-market surveillance targeting artificial nail sets that lack the required product notification.

2.  Issue a public health warning against unnotified nail adhesive containing DBP.

3.  Initiate law enforcement action, including seizure of non-compliant products, in coordination with local government, health and police authorities.

The group also reminded consumers to patronize nail products with proper FDA Certificate of Product Notification and marketed by licensed manufacturer, importer or distributor.