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New Study Finds Nail Polish Exposes Us To A Toxic Chemical That Triggers Multiple Disorders

New Study Finds Nail Polish Exposes Us To A Toxic Chemical That Triggers Multiple Disorders

Scientists have discovered that painting your nails can expose you to toxins that disrupt your body.

Nail polish contains an ingredient called triphenyl phosphate (TPHP). TPHP is used in plastics and to make furniture fireproof. In nail polish, it is used to make the polish more flexible. But this compound often goes unmarked on nail polish labels. In a recent study, researchers found that TPHP is linked to several health issues. These issues obesity, reproductive issues, hormone irregularities, and other problems related to hormones.

TPHP is Not Always on the Label

It might seem like painting your nails would not be the most likely way to bring toxins into your body. After all, it is not like you are ingesting them. But a recent report from Duke University suggests that TPHP can actually absorbed by your body right after you paint your nails.

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In the study, researchers from the Environmental Working Group and Duke University tested 10 different nail polishes. These 10 products did not list TPHP on the list of ingredients. The tests were designed to determine if any of the products contained TPHP anyway. This test is important because not all manufacturers disclose using this product on their labels. Surprisingly, researchers found traces of this compound in eight out of the 10 bottles they tested.

This is a huge finding on its own. The Environmental Working Group has a database called Skin Deep which lists the ingredients of beauty products. According to the database, only 49% of the 3,000 listed nail polishes in the database include TPHP in their lists of ingredients. But if this study is anything to go buy, more manufacturers may use it than previously thought.

Until recently, people knew little about TPHP and its toxicity, although, Dr. Lev Kalika, owner of NYDN Rehab, had warned about its effects.

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TPHP Can Alter Hormones

2014 study showed that rats which were exposed to a flame retarded with 20% TPHP grew to be obese. The females also saw differences in their hormones and those exposed to the flame retardant went through puberty early. Another experiment showed that exposure to TPHP antagonized male hormone receptors while also stimulated female sex hormone receptors. These changes could suggest that the compound can alter the reproductive function of humans.

But it was the Duke University study that showed far more distressing results.

In the study, the research team requested that volunteers paint fake nails with nail polish while wearing plastic gloves. They then tested urine samples for the volunteers to look for DPHP, the compound that is created when the human body has metabolized DPHP. When the polish was painted on fake nails, there was little change.

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However, when the volunteers painted their natural nails with nail polish, the levels of DPHP increased seven times over. This drew the team to the conclusion that nail polish can result in short-term exposure to this chemical. For those who get regular manicures, it might even result in a long-term hazard.

Be Sure to Stay Aware

Most people realize that their bath and beauty products are packed with chemicals. It can be hard to avoid them unless you go out of your way to buy natural or organic products. The problem is that although people know that these alternatives exist, many are not financially accessible. Young people are more likely to choose the drugstore brand over the high-end organic products because those products cost so much less.

Everyone should be wary of these chemicals. But this awareness is especially important for children and teenagers. They are in a phase where they have not yet finished developing. These hormone changes in young people can lead to obesity, irregular sex hormone production, and early onset puberty.

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Although you cannot force teenagers to spend all of their money on one safer bottle of nail polish, parents can encourage them to use them responsibly. By encouraging young people to make sure to give their bodies a break from nail polish and make up, parents can help keep them safe from the harmful effects of TPHP.

Featured photo credit: Courtney Rhodes via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

More About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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