1. Health and Wellness

What does toluene do to your body?

Toluene is a chemical that is known by various names. Some of these names include benzene, phenylmethane and so much more. If you are curious about what toluene is, then all you have to do is to think about paint as it is a paint thinner. Toluene has a distinctive smell and is insoluble when mixed with water.  

While this substance serves its purpose when it is used properly in line with the various industrial and commercial purposes, it can be quite bad for our health with repeated exposure.

Why is Toluene bad?

The list of potential effects both known and unknown is frightening. Toulene can cause neurological damage and create the following issues:

Headache and Dizziness

Prolonged contact with toluene can cause some damage in the short-term. This damage would likely include consistent headaches. You would also be more likely to feel dizzy and tired for no reason whatsoever.


Exposure to toluene while pregnant can have dire consequences. Toluene can cause development problems with a fetus and can lead to mental problems and growth later down the road.

Hearing issues

In the long-term, one of the issues which you are going to have would be an issue with your hearing abilities. That’s right, it’s hard to imagine that working in a nail shop or consistently using these products can cause hearing problems.

Permanent Brain Damage

Continuous and long term exposure to toluene can permanently damage the brain and cause memory loss, muscle weakness, poor balance, and mental issues.

Where can you find it?

Toluene can be found in many commercial products that are used as solvents for example:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Glues
  • Correction fluid
  • Paint thinners
  • Pretty much any product whose purpose is to dissolve

How can you recognize it in a product?

Toluene is usually stated as an ingredient, but there are other synonyms that it goes by. There might also be warnings on the container about the presence of this chemical. Some of the alternate names are as follows:

  • Any word with benzene as part of its name for example methyl-benzene
  • toluol
  • Phenylmethane
  • methylbenzol
  • methacide
  • Toluen or Tolueen
  • antisal 1a
  • tolu-sol
  • monomethyl benzene
  • Methane, phenyl-
  • Toluolo
  • RCRA waste number U220
  • para-toluene / paratoluene
  • p-toluene

This is clearly something you want to avoid if at all possible, especially if you are pregnant. If you work in a nail salon or visit one regularly, you should find out if the nail polish removers include toluene, as there are alternative solvents.

What are the alternatives of toluene

A girl has to do her nails, but not at the expense of her health. The interesting thing is that for almost every harmful ingredient there is a safer alternative.

Why you don't want toluene in your nailpolish