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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 January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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