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Oxiteno develops nail polish solvent to replace toluene

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 17-Oct-2012

Brazilian chemicals company Oxiteno has developed a new solvent for nail polish applications that substitutes toluene.

The sec-Butyl acetate product was developed by the Sao Paulo-based company as it considers toluene as a hazardous air pollutant and wanted to replace it in nail care goods; although the substance has been given full safety approval.

The new raw material delivers a performance similar to its predecessor and Oxiteno believes it will prove to be a big success.

Market approval

The sec-Butyl for nail polishes received approval from an unnamed market player, who tested response to the product with regards to: shine, coating, color, application, consistency and drying.

“Oxiteno has been conducting research on this technology to test it in nail polishes for two years and the results are excellent,” says the chemicals company.

“Among its main advantages are: scent of fruits; solvents compatible with most acrylic, cellulosic and epoxy resins, ensuring its presence over the drying process; low environmental impact and low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emission.”

Toluene safety

Toluene is a clear liquid substance that is used as a solvent to dissolve other substances used in the formulation, and in cosmetics, is limited to nail products.

It helps to make sure that the ingredients in the nail product are easily, effectively and smoothly applied.

The safety of Toluene has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel, which concluded that it is safe as a cosmetic ingredient; a factor that was reaffirmed in a second separate assessment.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that overexposure to Toluene in nail polish or fingernail glue may cause harmful and potentially dangerous health effects.

Quantities of these ingredients in nail care products are typically small, and with proper usage and application techniques, exposure levels can be minimized

In Europe, the official EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) found that toluene, as used in nail polish products, does not pose a risk to health. This finding is consistent with findings by other scientific and regulatory bodies.

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