Formaldehyde- commonly used chemical to preserve and embalm dead animals (and humans). Its vapors are also irritating and can trigger asthma. Formaldehyde is also a known human carcinogen, a factor directly involved in causing cancer.
Toluene- a liquid that is used as a solvent and has the familiar smell of paint thinner. You can be exposed to toluene by breathing it in or getting it on your skin, causing skin irritation. Unfortunately, inhaling high levels of toluene is said to be harmful to your nervous system and can cause light-headedness and nausea. Toluene is a toxin that may also cause birth defects and developmental problems in children of pregnant women who have had extended exposure.
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)- a commonly used plasticizer and has been linked to cancer. DBP has also been connected to birth defects in studies involving lab animals. In fact, this toxin was added to the California Proposition 65 list of suspected teratogens, which are agents that cause malformations of an embryo.
Camphor- A poison that can cause seizures and disorientation if used in large doses. This chemical acts as a cover on your nails, depriving them of nutrients and causing yellow staining on your nails.
Formaldehyde Resin- A derivative of Formaldehyde, mainly used in the production of coatings and adhesives. It is not as toxic as Formaldehyde but can be an allergen.
Xylene- A solvent used in nail polish. Its vapors can cause eye irritation, skin irritation, headache, dizziness and nausea. Prolonged exposure can lead to liver and kidney damage.
Parabens- Used as a preservative in nail polish, but when they coat your nails, they can interfere with proper nutrition absorption, which can leave your nails brittle, cracked, or otherwise unhealthy. Parabens have been making headlines because of their involvement in breast cancer.
Ethyl Tosylamide- It is a sulfur-based antibiotic and is banned in Europe for use in cosmetics since it can cause mild to severe allergic reactions. It is also known to be a major hormonal disrupter that affects the endocrine function.
Triphenyl Phosphate- While more studies are needed to measure the toxicity of this chemical, research has shown that contact with this can alter the red blood cell activity at a minor level.
Fragrance- like other toxic chemicals, can pass from the skin and into the blood.