Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP: The Big, Bad 3


When you’re choosing personal care products, read the ingredients before buying.  Be on the lookout for the Big (and Bad) 3. 


Formaldehyde can be found in many beauty products.  It’s used in nail polish to harden nails.  It can also be found in shampoo, hair conditioner, shower gels, and children’s bubble bath.  Toluene is a solvent.  DBP (dibutyl phthalate) is used to make nail polish flexible and fluid.    It is banned in the European Union.   Since 2006, many U.S. manufacturers have begun eliminating the chemical from personal products but it can still be found in some.

Check out the Skin Deep database  for more information on toxic chemicals in products we use every day.

For more information about a safe nail polish that doesn’t contain the Big 3, see our article on Karma Organics.

One Response to “Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP: The Big, Bad 3”

  1. [...] FYI:  It is important to avoid the Big 3 chemicals — formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP – which are commonly used in commercial beauty products.   These chemicals can cause cancer, allergies, and developmental and reproductive disorders.  Skin Deep, a service of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics which identifies toxins and hazards in beauty products, rates each of the Big 3 as a 10 on the hazard scale of 0-10.  Learn more about the Big 3 and how to avoid them. [...]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. If you don't have an account, please register