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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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