Exposing the Formaldehyde Myth

By Doug Schoon
Chief Scientific Advisor
Creative Nail Design, Inc.

An unfortunate misunderstanding is happening globally concerning many cosmetic products, including some nail products. Some groups are incorrectly claiming that “formaldehyde” is an ingredient in cosmetics. Advocacy groups are even loudly proclaiming that formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and are demanding manufacturers remove this cancer-causing ingredient from cosmetics. Actually, if these groups understood formaldehyde’s basic chemistry, they would see their claims are absolutely wrong. They’d also know that formaldehyde is not a cosmetic ingredient and never has been!

Advocacy groups incorrectly claim that formaldehyde is an ingredient found in nail hardeners, nail polish and preservatives used to prevent bacterial and fungal growth in products such as lotions, creams and shampoos. How can I be so sure about that formaldehyde has never been a cosmetic ingredient? Because formaldehyde is a gas, not a liquid or a solid. A gas cannot be added to cosmetics as an ingredient, since it would rapidly escape from the product. Interestingly, formaldehyde is a naturally occurring gas that must be kept absolutely bone dry. In the presence of even tiny amounts of moisture, it instantly transforms into completely different substances. This is why it quickly breaks down and doesn’t accumulate in the environment. As you can imagine, this is yet another reason why formaldehyde can’t be used in cosmetics; it wouldn’t be stable for more than 1000th of a second after contact with moisture.

How did this misunderstanding begin? Sometime in the early 1900s formaldehyde manufacturers began mixing this gas with water to create a liquid substance called “formalin”. These manufacturers mistakenly assumed that the added formaldehyde was simply dissolving in the water, so this is how formalin was sold. They didn’t realize the truth; formaldehyde does not dissolve in water, but instead instantly reacts with the water to change into a completely new and different substance called methylene glycol. Not only is it completely different, methylene glycol belongs to an entirely separate chemical family. Formaldehyde is a gas and methylene glycol is a liquid with very different chemical properties.

Here’s what caused most of the confusion. United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and many other countries require labeling with ingredient name listed in the “INCI Dictionary”. INCI stands for “International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients”. This dictionary repeated the original misinformation and required cosmetic manufacturers using formalin to put the name “formaldehyde” on product labels. About 1.5% formalin is often in used nail hardeners and these labels carried the incorrect “formaldehyde” ingredient name for many years, even though they contain almost undetectable trace levels of true formaldehyde amounting to around 0.0010%. Manufacturers of these products had no reason for concern until it was discovered that inhaling relatively high concentrations of formaldehyde gas for long periods in rare instances may cause an unusual form of nasal cancer. Suddenly, advocacy groups began to erroneously claim that nail hardeners, polish and other cosmetics contain a dangerous cancer causing ingredient. They obviously did not realize that the label name was incorrect. When the Nail Manufacturer’s Council (NMC) discovered that nail technicians and their clients were being given incorrect information, we decided to clear up the situation once and for all. As Co-chair of the NMC, I worked with others in this industry group to officially correct the INCI naming error, which was finally approved in December 2008 and is now in effect. Manufacturers using formalin in nail hardeners can now use the correct name for this ingredient, “methylene glycol”. If you find “formaldehyde” on a cosmetic label, you will know this is an incorrect name and you can be sure that formaldehyde was NOT added to the product. You can also be sure that the formaldehyde related cancer risks claimed by these advocacy groups doesn’t apply to cosmetics.

Some advocacy groups also claim formaldehyde is a nail polish ingredient, which is also completely incorrect. Here are the facts: a major ingredient used in nail polish is called “tosylamide formaldehyde resin”. This resin is originally made using several substances, including formaldehyde gas, but the resin is totally different. It is very thick, sticky, doesn’t evaporate and has completely different properties from formaldehyde gas. This resin can contain tiny trace amounts of formaldehyde residuals, but those levels are well below those found in nature. Formaldehyde is created in many naturally-occurring processes. Yes, formaldehyde is a natural and organic substance that is normally found in many foods up to 0.0098%. Trace amounts naturally occur in even organically grown pears, apples, carrots and tomatoes. In nail polish, the trace formaldehyde residuals are about the same as what naturally occurs in some foods. Also, scientific studies done in salons have proven that nail products don’t increase levels of formaldehyde in the salon air, so why the concern? Unless these advocacy groups think organically grown apples and carrots are also dangerous, they must be greatly over exaggerating the health risks.

The third incorrect claim is that certain preservatives used in some lotions, creams, shampoos, body washes, etc. release so much formaldehyde gas that they can cause cancer. What is the scientific truth? The most effective preservative ingredients for these types of cosmetics will very slowly release even lower amounts of formaldehyde than what is found in foods. In general, they release about 100 times lower levels or about 0.0001%. As you now know, this will immediately mix with water in the product and instantly convert into methylene glycol, so there’s virtually no chance of inhaling harmful levels of formaldehyde gas. The same thing happens to the trace levels of formaldehyde that naturally occurs in food, which is why formaldehyde gas inhalation isn’t a problem with cosmetics. Remember, formaldehyde gas only rarely causes nasal cancer and when it does, these problems are only found in people who inhale significantly large dosages for long periods of time, e.g. formaldehyde manufacturing plant worker. These extremely beneficial preservatives can help ensure the safety of cosmetic products, so it’s important to not to unfairly slander them. These preservative may occasionally cause skin irritation and allergic sensitivity in a small percentage of the population, but show no adverse effects for the overwhelming majority of people who use products protected by these important ingredients.

You can see that when the science behind this issue is examined, it becomes clear and obvious that the claims about formaldehyde in cosmetics causing cancer are not only incorrect; the entire issue has been dramatically exaggerated and overstated. Next time you hear that “formaldehyde” is a cancer causing ingredient in cosmetics, you’ll know this is NOT true! You’ll also know that whoever made this statement doesn’t understand the facts. Please set them straight. Save this article so you can give it to them. Educators, please share this information with your students. It hurts the entire beauty, cosmetic and personal care industry when misinformation like this goes uncorrected. We need to set the record straight and you can help.

536 Replies to “Exposing the Formaldehyde Myth”

  1. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue along with your site in web explorer,
    could test this? IE still is the marketplace leader and
    a large component to people will miss your great writing because of this problem.

  2. My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to
    .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on numerous websites for about
    a year and am nervous about switching to another platform.
    I have heard very good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts
    into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  3. Hi would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re working
    with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot
    faster then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at
    a reasonable price? Thank you, I appreciate it!

  4. I seldom create responses, however after looking at through a few of the responses on %BLOG_TITLE%. I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you do not mind. Could it be only me or do some of the remarks look like they are coming from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting at other places, I would like to follow|keep up with} anything new you have to post. Would you list of every one of your social community pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?
    【送料無料】竹箸8寸双生(約21cm)3000膳_業務用_割り箸 竹_激安_特価

  5. http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/yxwddd.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/zahglo.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/rmdlnx.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/hkhfej.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/haqazo.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/elrvdt.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/dwpwgd.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/ztusre.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/vvijix.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/jyrahw.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/dhapom.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/yfuhrw.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/qcxtda.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/hjsnoc.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/jmwdwc.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/znksbp.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/hgovom.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/nhergu.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/zrhxgg.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/dhipqn.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/otimoc.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/xgvzrm.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/nvpjld.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/stgvfp.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/sitemap.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/G2TARmv5zU.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/zx9nfHkWo5.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/TkdrQid3w7.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/BUDNQNyA1S.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/MXDTsbt0FU.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/IPJrwkDJST.html

  6. 普段22.5cmなので、22.5cmを購入もかなり大きかったです。22.0cmに交換希望しましたが、品切れの為出来ず。お店に買いに行く時間もなかったので、そのまま使用しましたが、つま先部分が短くサイズが大きかった為、歩くのが大変でした。デザインは可愛く気に入っていただけに残念です。
    銆愭渶瀹夊€ゆ寫鎴︿腑锛併€戙儠銈с兂銉囥偅 銈汇儸銉偄 銉愩偙銉冦儓

  7. Virgin hair:just as its name implies,is collected from young girls(maybe Brazilian Malaysian、Indian、China ) whose hair is completely natural ,healthy and unprocessed ever. The cuticles of virgin hair are kept 100% intact and aligned.It has not been damaged by dyeing,perming or bleaching that can help to prevent tangling.
    full lace wig

  8. Sサイズを購入し、早速仕事で履きました。くるぶしにベルトが当たり少々痛いのと、甲の部分の当たりも痛く、甲高でもないのですが、ガマン出来る程度の履き心地でしたが、履いた一日目で、ソール部分の剥がれが少しあり、二日目にはメリメリと剥がれてパカパカしてしまい仕事に支障をきたす始末。デスクワークなど激しく動き回らなくても、同様な症状になるかと思います。残念ですが返品させてもらいます。
    銆愭渶瀹夊€ゆ寫鎴︿腑锛併€戙儠銈с兂銉囥偅 銈枫儶銈儷銉娿兂銉愩兗

  9. http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/yxwddd.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/zahglo.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/rmdlnx.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/hkhfej.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/haqazo.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/elrvdt.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/dwpwgd.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/ztusre.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/vvijix.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/jyrahw.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/dhapom.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/yfuhrw.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/qcxtda.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/hjsnoc.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/jmwdwc.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/znksbp.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/hgovom.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/nhergu.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/zrhxgg.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/dhipqn.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/otimoc.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/xgvzrm.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/nvpjld.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/stgvfp.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/sitemap.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/G2TARmv5zU.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/zx9nfHkWo5.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/TkdrQid3w7.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/BUDNQNyA1S.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/MXDTsbt0FU.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/IPJrwkDJST.html

  10. Good day! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.
    timberland femme ete solde

  11. http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/yxwddd.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/zahglo.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/rmdlnx.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/hkhfej.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/haqazo.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/elrvdt.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/dwpwgd.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/ztusre.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/vvijix.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/jyrahw.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/dhapom.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/yfuhrw.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/qcxtda.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/hjsnoc.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/jmwdwc.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/znksbp.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/hgovom.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/nhergu.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/zrhxgg.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/dhipqn.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/otimoc.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/xgvzrm.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/nvpjld.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/stgvfp.html
    http://www.ornes.nl/wp-content/jeryfd/sitemap.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/G2TARmv5zU.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/zx9nfHkWo5.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/TkdrQid3w7.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/BUDNQNyA1S.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/MXDTsbt0FU.html
    http://www.adobetrading.com/berhy/IPJrwkDJST.html

  12. Awesome blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Appreciate it!
    timberland homme site officiel

  13. Keep up the great work, I read few posts on this internet site and I think that your website is really interesting and holds sets of good information.

  14. I would like to show my appreciation for your kind-heartedness for individuals who should have guidance on this particular content. Your personal dedication to passing the solution all around became especially informative and has consistently encouraged individuals just like me to attain their dreams. Your amazing valuable useful information indicates so much to me and even more to my peers. Thanks a ton; from each one of us.
    air max 90 blancas

  15. 楽天ブランドコピーは業界最高品質に挑戦!全商品はプロの目にも分からないスーパーコピーN品です。ビトンコピー,グッチコピー,エルメスコピー,シャネルコピーを初め世界中有名なスーパーコピーブランドを激安で通販しております.
    コピーブランド

  16. ブランドコピーの6年老舗,コピーブランド,スーパーコピー商品,スーパーブランドコピー,スーパーコピーブランド,ブランドスーパーコピー,スーパーコピー最新作,ルイヴィトンコピー,エルメスコピー,シャネルコピー,グッチコピー.
    グッチコピー

  17. For the purpose of quiring proficiency and fa in the field of education, whatever may be the subject careful selection of auspicious mont is very essential.As a writer I have run up against a limited of Googles possible shoot downs. You don’t have to spend large sums – just go to BuyTwitterAndInstagramFollowers.The report, originally printed within the Lancet in January 2000, was developed by Peter Gotzsche and Ole Olsen from the Nordic Cochrane Middle in Copenhagen.Vidya Yoga: The following binations produce the yoga:a..”What’s in store for the mobile market in the future? According to Charles, the expedited delivery of the sports content will be the next trend- one that he says The Sports Network is already providing. It is about time now to start planning your summer retreat.Selecting a hidden spy cara needs so howork on your piece because there are a lot of choices. Besides, Portugal is a perfectly located country, not too far away, bordering both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean with just the right climate for a summer holiday or in fact a holiday any time of the year.
    Cheap Jerseys From China

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.