Friday, June 8, 2012

Zinc Poisoning, Corroding Balls, Tacoing Polish, Indie NP Love/Hate Oh My!

Hey Lacquer Ladies,

So I am an active member of many NP forums.  I go on and read up on swatches, formulas, customer reviews, etc.  It's a great place to pick up information and unfortunately misinformation as well.  Recently we all have seen the world of NP explode with custom-blended indie brand polishes creating unique shades, glitters beyond our imaginings, and universally taking the NP world by storm.  However, along with these great new innovations have come a host of quality control issues.  Glitters melting into witches brew, separations of pigments, sinking ships from glitter polishes being placed into non-suspension bases, and now the latest problem corroding zinc coated BB's and the threat of zinc poisoning.   TraceFacePhiles posted a Facebook link with all of the sellers currently using stainless steel BB's, which are preferred for use because they don't breakdown in the NP solvent, and those that don't.  This has created a lot of drama and a lot of angst for both sellers and buyers.  Why? Because when zinc coated BB's breakdown they cause discoloration and ruin the NP that they are in.  See Exibit A below. 
Exhibit A - discoloration of polish as a result of zinc coated BB breakdown inside NP.

Here's my two cents on the issue.  Now ladies trust me when I say on the other side of my life past the NP and art and all of the zaniness of the indie NP world there is probably no one in this community that has seen as much vitamin toxicity as I.  I'm in the medical field and I've confiscated trashbags full of supplements from well-meaning and poisoned patients.  

While I am no expert in these matters and I don't claim to be I honestly think the issue with zinc ingestion, inhalation, and absorption as a result of corroding zinc coated BB's is being blown slightly out of proportion to the concern. People tend to poison themselves with OTC supplements faster than they would through the use of cosmetics especially those applied to dead tissues or those without mucosa. Again I've seen vitamin toxicities on the wards - the amounts of supplements these patients are using is shocking and mind-boggling.  Should anyone be ingesting/inhaling toxic quantities of zinc? No. Do I think that over years of such ingestion their may be a slight cause for concern? Perhaps, depending on the amount ingested, but honestly the levels of IUD's needed to cause real harm is in magnitude far higher than what you would be getting through the use of NP.  Though I would not advise  using a polish that has signs of the BB breaking down already. It's not the zinc that is a concern so much as the substance that the zinc coating was trying to keep out of the polish that has potential for damage.

As an FYI the nail plate is dead, but the cuticle is alive so if you had an open wound on your cuticle there would be more potential for absorption, but I would say the risk is higher for getting a bacterial infection through exposed cuticles than zinc poisoning. In terms of inhalation unless you are actively galvanizing your NP which I don't know why you would be doing that this is really not a concern. In a world where indie polish is a hot and exploding new trend ultimately the right thing for these sellers to do is switch to SS BB's, move on, and address future concerns as they arise while acknowledging the potential for such concerns does exist.   I also think everyone needs to relax just a touch regarding the issue of zinc poisoning.  Alright ladies that's my two cents on this burning issue for today.

The List
Thus far Lacquistry, Darling Diva Polish, KB Shimmer, Dollish Polish, Nail-Venturous, Pretty & Polished, Amy's Nail Boutique, Red Carpet Lacquer, Pahlish, Lac Attack, Dandy Nails, Rockstar Nails, Sonoma Nail Art, Once Upon a Polish, Sparkles by Julie, Daring Digits, Glitter Daze, FeverLacquer, Rainbow Honey, The Hungry Asian, Nails by Laura, Lush Lacquer, Huemorista, Northern Star, Everybeautyboutique, Utopiasbows, Kunimitsu, Candy Lacquer, Girly Bits, Whimsical, and Million Lacquers have all stated that they use SS ball.

It looks like Aphrodite, Windestine, Elemental Polish and All That Glitters used to use zinc and have now made the switch. Haze Glaze is unsure and double checking. 365 Days of Color claims to have only used SS BB's historically but I will let the picture above do the talking.


  1. Some people have corroded balls in Lush Lacquer

    1. Hmm it's the first I've heard about it. I will give them an email and see what the T is and update accordingly! Thanks for letting me know.


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