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Topic: VOCs after the nail polish dries.  (Read 1891 times)

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Offline xchcui

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VOCs after the nail polish dries.
« on: July 06, 2022, 05:59:44 AM »
Hi.
While the nail polish is drying,there are
several VOCs(volatile organic compounds)that
evaporates from it and they are considered as not good for breathing.
After the nail polish has dried,does the nail polish is still emit any VOCs?(say 1 day after).
For example:I read that nail polish contains formaldehyde.
I also read that wood furniture which contain formaldehyde(as a glue)can
emit formaldehyde several months after they were made?
Does the formaldehyde in the nail polish also
behave like that?

***Lets take the worst case of a cheap nail polish that contains all the bad materials that are usually used in a cheap nail polish.
Thanks.

Offline Borek

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Re: VOCs after the nail polish dries.
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2022, 06:55:58 PM »
Problem is not whether they emit VOCs after some time (they certainly do), but whether the amounts they emit is harmful.

And the answer is: it depends. On the maker (large, international firms usually follow regulations to avoid legal troubles, small firms are sometimes even not aware any regulations exists), on the market (things sold in EU will be definitely much, much safer than the ones sold in, say, middle Africa), on the item (nail polish is used in very small amounts, so the amount of solvents and other chemical is quite low, furniture weights many kilograms and can contain quite a lot of VOCs.
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Offline xchcui

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Re: VOCs after the nail polish dries.
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2022, 05:16:59 AM »
Problem is not whether they emit VOCs after some time (they certainly do), but whether the amounts they emit is harmful.

And the answer is: it depends. On the maker (large, international firms usually follow regulations to avoid legal troubles, small firms are sometimes even not aware any regulations exists), on the market (things sold in EU will be definitely much, much safer than the ones sold in, say, middle Africa), on the item (nail polish is used in very small amounts, so the amount of solvents and other chemical is quite low, furniture weights many kilograms and can contain quite a lot of VOCs.
I understand that the VOCs will be low,but will the dried nail polish emit VOCs forever?isn't there a point that the dried nail polish stop to emit VOCs?
BTW,i used the nail polish to draw something on the wall in my room(glow in dark nail polish)and the odor of the VOCs was pretty strong for several hours.The gasses are: formaldehyde,toluene,dibutyl phthalate,camphor etc.
and they are toxic.So,i am trying to understand if those toxic VOCs will ever stop outgassing eventually or it will outgassing forever?
« Last Edit: July 07, 2022, 05:30:42 AM by xchcui »

Offline Borek

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Re: VOCs after the nail polish dries.
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2022, 06:25:15 AM »
I understand that the VOCs will be low,but will the dried nail polish emit VOCs forever?isn't there a point that the dried nail polish stop to emit VOCs?

That's just an educated guess on my side, but I bet amount of VOCs released goes down exponentially, so technically they are released forever (well, after some point we will get to absurd amounts of "half a molecule per day", which doesn't make much sense). In practice it is a matter of detection limits: the more sensitive detector you use, the longer you will observe presence of VOCs, albeit in lower and lower amounts.

As long as you use the nail polish the way it is designed to be used and in amounts it is designed to be used, it should be safe (amount of volatiles it can release is way too low to be dangerous, as it is a dose that makes the poison). If you abuse the product things become more complicated, but there is no easy answer to the question "is it still safe or already dangerous", as there are zillions of factors that are unknown and impossible to account for.
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Offline xchcui

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Re: VOCs after the nail polish dries.
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2022, 08:45:57 AM »
That's just an educated guess on my side, but I bet amount of VOCs released goes down exponentially, so technically they are released forever (well, after some point we will get to absurd amounts of "half a molecule per day", which doesn't make much sense). In practice it is a matter of detection limits: the more sensitive detector you use, the longer you will observe presence of VOCs, albeit in lower and lower amounts.

As long as you use the nail polish the way it is designed to be used and in amounts it is designed to be used, it should be safe (amount of volatiles it can release is way too low to be dangerous, as it is a dose that makes the poison). If you abuse the product things become more complicated, but there is no easy answer to the question "is it still safe or already dangerous", as there are zillions of factors that are unknown and impossible to account for.
You explained that after some point we will get to absurd amounts of "half a molecule per day.
If i apply,(as i mention before about the glow in night nail polish),one standard bottle of nail polish on the wall in the room,how many time (the worst case)should i expect that the VOCs amount will reduced to the"half a molecule per day"?Is it a matter of days,weeks,months...?
(Of course i do not  expect an exact time)

Offline Borek

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Re: VOCs after the nail polish dries.
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2022, 09:52:18 AM »
You are expecting impossible.

There is no such thing as a "standard bottle", there is no such thing as a "standard nail polish", there is no such thing as a "standard room", there is no such thing as a "standard ventilation", there is no such thing as a "standard temperature and pressure" (well, actually there is such a thing, but it is irrelevant to the case), there is no such thing as "standard air circulation in the room" and so on. To make things worse: even if we knew all these things exactly it would be next impossible to do the calculations, they require solving sets of differential equations, this is a really advanced and time consuming math, completely impractical in use apart from some very specific cases and situations. This is not just a case of a simple magic formula to plug numbers in.

Best advice I can give: as long as you can smell it - keep the window open.
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Offline xchcui

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Re: VOCs after the nail polish dries.
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2022, 12:35:20 PM »
You are expecting impossible.

There is no such thing as a "standard bottle", there is no such thing as a "standard nail polish", there is no such thing as a "standard room", there is no such thing as a "standard ventilation", there is no such thing as a "standard temperature and pressure" (well, actually there is such a thing, but it is irrelevant to the case), there is no such thing as "standard air circulation in the room" and so on. To make things worse: even if we knew all these things exactly it would be next impossible to do the calculations, they require solving sets of differential equations, this is a really advanced and time consuming math, completely impractical in use apart from some very specific cases and situations. This is not just a case of a simple magic formula to plug numbers in.

Best advice I can give: as long as you can smell it - keep the window open.
Borek,all i have tried to get,in accordance to my last post,is an estimate time,days/months/years,(despite all the variables that you mentioned),i didn't expect for accurate answer that based on formula.It could help me alot to understand and estimate the process of the VOCs decreasing with time.But okay,I understand,from your response,that there are too many variables that are preventing to find a reasonable answer.
BTW,is there the possibility for VOCs from nail polish that are odorless?

Offline wildfyr

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Re: VOCs after the nail polish dries.
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2022, 10:33:32 PM »
Gel nails have much lower volatile content than regular nail polish. They harder due to UV polymerization rather than drying.

Offline Corribus

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Re: VOCs after the nail polish dries.
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2022, 09:49:46 AM »
The simple answer is, if you don't want to be exposed to chemicals in nail polish, don't use nail polish. Even if you were to hold your breath perpetually, you are still putting the nail polish chemicals directly on your body. The nail plate is permeable. See e.g. Walters and Flynn, Permeability characteristics of the human nail plate. International Journal of Cosmetic Science 5 , 231-246 (1983).
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

Offline xchcui

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Re: VOCs after the nail polish dries.
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2022, 10:31:42 AM »
The simple answer is, if you don't want to be exposed to chemicals in nail polish, don't use nail polish. Even if you were to hold your breath perpetually, you are still putting the nail polish chemicals directly on your body. The nail plate is permeable. See e.g. Walters and Flynn, Permeability characteristics of the human nail plate. International Journal of Cosmetic Science 5 , 231-246 (1983).
Gel nails have much lower volatile content than regular nail polish. They harder due to UV polymerization rather than drying.
Thanks for your responses.
As i mentioned before,i used a special nail polish that GLOW IN THE DARK(one bottle/10ml)to draw something on the wall in the room.
I don't use it on my nails.It just was the most available for my task.
My concern was not for the VOCs during the drying time,my interest was about the VOCs after the nail polish is dried.
Anyway,thanks a lot for your help. :)

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