Dangers of Acetone Nail Polish Remover

One of the critical ingredients in nail polish is a naturally occurring chemical called acetone. It is a colorless but highly flammable liquid that does a lot of work removing nail polish from any surface. If you are a painter, it also works as a paint thinner or even a paint remover.

While highly useful, acetone can be dangerous if misused. It is not hazardous for everyday use, but here are some small dangers of acetone nail polish remover.


Consider The Dangers of Acetone Nail Polish Remover

It is Highly Flammable

dangers of acetone - highly inflammable

Acetone has a flashpoint of 0 degrees Fahrenheit, making it highly flammable. Even if you slightly dilute the chemical in water, it can still ignite.

Acetone in its vapor form is more dangerous than its liquid form. That is because if the vapor floats toward an ignition source, it could cause a fire.

Store your acetone nail polish remover in a room temperature area, away from anything flammable and especially from any electrical sources. Do not let anything hot near the nail polish either. Make sure you have a tight-fitting lid on the container.

Before using a nail polish remover (acetone), ground any static electricity you might have by gently touching something metal. You might also use dryer sheets to reduce the static after.


Too Much Exposure Can be Dangerous

As mentioned, acetone vapor is far more dangerous than acetone liquid. In that case, it is always best to use it in a properly ventilated space.

People come in contact with acetone in a few different ways. They might inhale it or accidentally get some on their skin or in their eyes. Remember that getting a little acetone on your skin or inhaling just a little is not dangerous.


Do Not Inhale Too Much Acetone Vapor

Do Not Inhale Too Much Acetone Vapor

In small amounts, inhaling acetone vapor might irritate your nose and throat. Inhaling high concentrations of acetone, on the other hand, can harm your nervous system.

Stop using immediately if you get a headache or feel dizzy, nauseous, confused, or drowsy. Severe amounts of exposure might also cause unconsciousness.


Be Careful if You Have Sensitive Skin

If your skin irritates easily, be more careful about using it. Acetone can absorb through the skin, but again, it will not cause harm in small amounts. Long-term exposure to your skin may make it dry and cracked.

If you wish, you can use rubber or safety gloves while handling acetone. The cure for acetone-damaged skin is simply washing the area with soap and water and applying moisturizer.


Do Not Get Acetone in Your Eyes

Do Not Get Acetone in Eyes

While getting a little acetone in your eyes is not dangerous, it will certainly irritate them. Your eyes may become sore, red, and get tearier. Too much acetone vapor can also irritate your eyes.

If you get acetone in your eyes, gently flush them out with warm water for about twenty minutes. If you are wearing contact lenses, do not remove them first. Immediately flush out the acetone before the irritation gets worse.

It might sound extreme, but you could wear eye protection, like goggles, while handling acetone.


Try Not to Ingest Too Much

While acetone can irritate your skin or eyes, it is overall safe to ingest in small amounts. As a matter of fact, acetone is generally recognized as safe in concentrations of 5 to 8 mg/L in unprocessed foods or beverages.

That is not to say that you should not still be careful. If you have accidentally ingested a large amount of acetone, call your Poison Control Center or local hospital to get treatment.

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How to Properly Dispose of Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Disposal of Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Disposing of large amounts of acetone takes special care, but you will rarely do the same for small bits of acetone, like when you use it as nail polish.

If you have used an acetone-soaked cotton ball to remove nail polish, throw the cotton ball into a metal trash container with a plastic bag lining. It is safe to throw this bag in with your regular trash.

If the cotton ball is pretty saturated, you may need to squeeze out the extra. Do so into a tight-sealing container, then double-bag the material before placing it into a normal garbage bag.


Although acetone nail polish can irritate and do slight damage to your body, it likely will not cause severe damage or death. That said, be sure to keep it away from heat or electrical sources and only use it a little at a time in a well-ventilated area.


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