Thanks in part to the Nail Manufacturers Council (NMC), Proposition 65 of the Health and Safety Code of the State of California will pose no threat to the nail industry. The proposition, formally known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, provides safety guidelines as to chemical levels, and the warnings they require when present.

The ruling by the attorney general of California culminates a multiyear effort by the NMC against various individuals and groups who were seeking to eliminate toluene and formaldehyde from nail polish and other nail care products in California.

“This is certainly a victory for the entire professional nail industry,” says Paul Dykstra, executive director of the American Beauty Association (ABA). “Without the NMC’s leadership on the issue, the nail industry could have faced unnecessary overregulation, threatening the livelihood of nail technicians and their ability to earn a living.” The NMC provided research to verify the safety of chemicals in nail polish.

Under the attorney general’s ruling, nail polish containing toluene and formaldehyde sold for consumer use does not require a Proposition 65 warning for either chemical. In addition, salons where nail polish containing toluene and formaldehyde are used do not need to post a warning, but nail techs working full time in salons must receive warnings. Manufacturers have no duty to warn nail techs about formaldehyde.

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