I like to get pedicures in the summer, but I’m concerned about chemicals in nail polish. Any Advice?

Read labels.  That pretty shade of polish may contain what’s known as the “toxic trio”of chemicals – toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate – or other harmful ingredients.  A recent Duke University study also found traces of the hormone-disrupting chemical triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) in the urine of women who used nail polish that contained TPHP.  To find safer nail polish choices, such as Acquarella or Honeybee Gardens, check the cosmetics database at

Since our bodies can absorb harmful chemicals used in nail polish, you may ant to use it only for special events and remove it afterward.  And keep in mind that any kind of nail polish cuts off oxygen and light to toenails making them more vulnerable to fungal infections.

Johanna S. Youner, DPM, podiatric surgeon in New York City.