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High price for beauty?

by Samantha Thompson Smith, Staff WriterRaleigh News & Observer
April 24th, 2006

For mani/pedi faithfuls, Malaga Wine, Tutti Frutti Tonga and I'm Not Really a Waitress are three of the best names a girl can hear.

But a report called "Skin Deep" put out by the Environmental Working Group says OPI nail polishes, used by many nail salons around the region, have some of the most toxic ingredients on the market.

The group, which is a founding member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, says many of the OPI nail polishes have formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate, also known as DBP -- ingredients that the state of California says cause cancer. Because Europe has banned the use of DBP, a chemical believed to be linked to reproductive harm, OPI has removed the chemical from polishes in 25 European countries, the group said.

OPI, meanwhile, said in a statement put out by its public relations company there's no cause for concern.

"We believe, based on our rigorous testing methods and documented scientific studies on these ingredients, that OPI products --whether used once or over a lifetime -- are safe for use by consumers."

The ingredients in its polishes are the same used by all leading professional brands and meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements, the company said.

To find out more, go to www.safecosmetics.org.