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More than you want to know about acetone

The acetone molecule

Acetone (also known as dimethyl ketone, 2-propanone, propan-2-one and beta-ketopropane) is the simplest representative of the ketones. Its chemical formula is CH3(CO)CH3 and its structure is

Acetone is a colorless mobile flammable liquid with a pleasant, somewhat fruity odor, melting at -95.4 °C and boiling at 56.53 °C. It has a specific gravity of 0.819 (at 0 °C). It is readily soluble in water, ethanol, ether, etc., and itself serves as an important solvent. The most familiar household use of acetone is as the active ingredient in nail-polish remover. Acetone is also used to make plastic, fibers, drugs, and other chemicals.

As a member of the ketone bodies it is present in very small quantity in normal urine and in the blood. Larger quantities can be found after starvation and in diabetic patients with severe insulin deficiency (that is untreated or inadequately treated persons); a fruity smell of the breath caused by acetone is one symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis. See ketone bodies for more information.

Acetone occurs naturally in plants, trees, volcanic gases, forest fires, and as a product of the breakdown of body fat. It is present in vehicle exhaust, tobacco smoke, and landfill sites. Industrial processes contribute more acetone to the environment than natural processes. It is found among the products formed in destructive distillation of wood, sugar, cellulose, etc., and for this reason it is always present in crude wood spirit, from which the greater portion of it may be recovered by fractional distillation.

It forms a hydrazone with phenyl hydrazine and an oxime with hydroxylamine. Reduction by sodium amalgam converts it into isopropyl alcohol; oxidation by chromic acid gives carbon dioxide and acetic acid. It reacts with ammonia to form di- and triacetoneamines. It also unites directly with hydrocyanic acid to form the nitrile of ±-oxyisobutyric acid.

By the action of various reagents, such as lime, caustic potash, hydrochloric acid, etc., acetone is converted into condensation products, mesityl oxide C6H10O, phorone C9H14O, etc., being formed. On distillation with sulphuric acid (H2SO4), it is converted into mesitylene C9H12 (symmetrical trimethyl benzene). Acetone has also been used in the artificial production of indigo. In the presence of iodine and an alkali it gives iodoform.

Health effects
After inhaling acetone fumes or ingesting acetone, it enters the blood, which then carries it to all the organs in the body. If it is a small amount, the liver breaks it down to chemicals that are not harmful and uses these chemicals to make energy for normal body functions. Breathing moderate- to-high levels of acetone for short periods of time, however, can cause nose, throat, lung, and eye irritation; headaches; light-headedness; confusion; increased pulse rate; effects on blood; nausea; vomiting; unconsciousness and possibly coma; and shortening of the menstrual cycle in women.

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Why Fresh Air is so important

Fresh Air Salon and Spa is a new concept for the Beauty Salon business. Upon opening the front door of almost any salon or spa the first thing one notices are the chemical orders. They are not good for you...

The beauty business is centered around chemicals. For example, nail polish, nail polish removers, binders, acrylics resins, gels, hair colorants, hair bleaches and peroxides, facial products, massage oils and dust from nail filing all fill the air with harmful toxins. Typical toxins released into the air by these procedures are acetone, Ethyl/butyl acetate, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, acrylic resin, methacrylic acid, and cyanoacrylate. Dust from filing and grinding enters the air as well.

Cosmetologists and clients breathe in these toxins and dust and risk health issues. It is well documented that women trying to conceive and "with child" are subject to adverse health effects when exposed to these toxins. (Reference: Connecticut Pregnancy Exposure Information Service (CPEIS) toll-free at 1-800-325-5391).

PS, the paper masks you see some technicians and clients wears is for dust only. To remove chemicals the air must pass through activated charcoal and/or zeolite, NOT paper.

Below are articles gathered from many resources on why you should not sit and breathe toxic fumes while having your nails done.

Can my pregnant patient keep her job at the nail salon? - @University of Connecticut Health Center. For additional information contact the Connecticut Pregnancy Exposure Information Service (CPEIS) toll-free at 1-800-325-5391

This is worth reading... If you are pregnant this knowledge is a must for you. Please read Click this link to see this comprehensive article on being pregnant and visiting a salon.

Palm Beach Post Article Thursday February 14, 2008

Fumes from acrylic-nail application may be harmful

By Dr. Melanie Bone

Dear Dr. Bone: Do acrylic nails cause cancer? - S.K., Lake Worth

Dear S.K.: For certain they cause fungal infections and are associated with harboring bacteria that can cause other infections. As for cancer, I couldn't find any definitive study linking them to cancer. But the fumes of the compounds used in acrylics do contain substances that can be harmful. I suggest you have your nails done in a well-ventilated area. Remind your nail tech to take a clean-air break as well!


Dangerous Toxic Fumes from Six Everyday Products that You Most Want to Avoid

6. Nail Polish Remover

Dangerous ingredients: Acetone, ethyl acetate, benzophenone-1, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, propyl acetate, denatonium benzoate, dimethyl adipate, propylene carbonate, toluene and formaldehyde

Health hazards: According to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Report, the ingredients in nail polish remover pose the following health risks:

Immune and nervous system toxicity
Gastrointestinal and liver toxicity hazards
Neurotoxicity hazards
Damage to the skin and sense organs
Possible reproductive or developmental harm
General irritation

The Australian Department of Environment and Water Resources Report




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