Polish removers leave watchdog fuming

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 July, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 July, 1994, 12:00am

THE Consumer Council yesterday advised women to buy smaller bottles of nail polish remover and use them in well-ventilated areas because most contained toxic and flammable chemicals.

Inhaling their fumes or having too much contact with them could cause headaches, irritation to eyes and skin, and some of the chemicals can pass through skin and damage kidneys and livers, the council added.

The council tested 25 samples of nail polish remover ranging in price from 34 cents to $15 per 10 millilitres.

It found that 22 samples contained acetone, which causes headaches and irritation to eyes and skin. People inhaling too much of it could feel tired and uncomfortable.

Two samples, Facination's Nail Polish Remover and Lana Cane's Nail Remover Super, each cost about $8 per 90ml and contained more than 99 per cent acetone. Neither had ingredient warning tags.

The council said the chemical would destroy plastics, artificial silks, pens and jewels.

Three samples were acetone-free but contained ethyl acetate and alcohol, which can also irritate eyes and respiratory system.

Estee Lauder's Perfect Nail Lacquer Remover, from America, was found to contain 82 per cent acetate.

''Since these polish removers contained ingredients which are inflammable and can cause sickness to users when inhaling too much they should carry a warning,'' said Sara Ho Suk-ching, vice-chairman of the council's publicity and community relations committee.

She added that the tests showed that there was no positive correlation between the price and the effectiveness of the products.