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Toxic Harzardous Chemicals For Manicure
Toxic Harzardous Chemicals for Manicure
Dr. Pham Hoang Trung

Manicure is exposed to many chemicals, including those that directly or indirectly cause toxic effects. These chemicals can cause immediate or gradual hazards, which can occur many years after quitting job and transferring to another one.

In this article we will present the products in the manicure industry, including three main types of toxic chemicals and then the prevention and treatment methods.

phamhoangtrung-doctor-nailpolisherNhững chất trong nghề làm móng tay gồm có:

  • Nail polish
  • Nail finishes
  • Nail polish remover
  • Nail whiteners
  • Nail bleaches
  • Nail hardeners
  • Artificial nail remover

In these aboveproducts, there are many toxic chemicals, but we present only three main chemicals commonly found in manicure products: Acetone, Benzene and Toluene.


Nail workers are used to be exposed to acetone because acetone is the most important solvent in nail cleaners. Acetone made from fermentation is also used as a glue preparation solvent. Acetone can remove old paints, but it can cause brittle nails. When contacting to skin it causes itching on the tip of your finger. The most dangerous is breathing too much acetone to the lungs, creating a feeling of drunkenness, imbalance in the same way as alcohol addiction.


Benzene is present in nail polish remover and is one of the organic solvents causing serious harm to the manicuring industry.
The toxic effects caused by benzene include:

  • Toxic in the Central Nervous System: causing dizziness, fatigue, loss of clarity.
  • Toxic in blood. All 3 types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are affected.
  • The long-term and continuous effect of benzene can cause anemia, leukopenia. Damage to leukocytes causes serioushemorrhages. Leukemia (necrosis) can also occur 5 to 15 years after being poisoned.
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • The manicuring profession, although not subject to the toxic effects of breathing high amounts of benzene, will also suffer the effects of exposure to small but continuous amounts.


Toluene has become the most significant hazard for manicuring because toluene has gradually replaced benzene.And in nail polishes the percentage of toluene even increased to as high as 50%. Long-term and repeated inhalation of toluene can cause toluene addiction.

Because toluene is metabolized in the liver, nail salon workers will be poisoned more quickly if already having liver disease. Manicurists should avoid salicylate medications because salicylate can be competitive, inhibiting toluene metabolism to reduce toluene elimination. As with other organic solvents, toluene causes discomfort in the airways so people with asthma should avoid manicuring job.

The toxic effects of toluene include:

  • Impact on the Central Nervous System: this effect depends on chemical concentration and contact time; Low concentrations and prolonged exposure (as in the case of manicurists) can create disorders for temperature sensation, unpleasant noise in the nose and airways, loss of memory, fatigue, difficulty of concentration, irritability, constant headache.
  • Respiratory Effects: breathing toluene continuously for a long time causes discomfort in the airways, coughing, convulsions in the lungs bronchi.
  • Toluene does not cause toxic reactions on blood like benzene.
  • Pregnant woman breathing continuously Toluene are at risk of having children with swollen brain, lack of concentration, slow mental development and may have limb defects

If manicure is your main job and you have to do it for living, you should take precautions to avoid breathing these toxic substances into your body and practice some detoxification measures to help to release toxins accumulated in thebody and limit the toxic effects of these substances.

Precautions to reduce exposure to manicure toxic substances:

  • Wear a face mask when working
  • Increase the exhaust system at work, increase the fan to disperse toxic vapors, equipped with air purifiers such as HEPA filter or CPZ filter.
  • If it's cool outside, open all the doors to let the air in the salon escape.

Practicing a number of detoxification measures for the body:

  • Increases the body's excretion function as a means to eliminate toxins stored in the body by drinking lots of water, eating lots of fibers.
  • Use herbal supplements for the liver to increase the liver ability to eliminate toxins by neutralizing toxic substances in the blood.

By the way, we especially introduce a liver tonic Doctor’s SuperLiver (chai số 9), which combines a variety of herbs, vitamins and minerals, especially to help nourish the liver and increase its function.


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