Assessment of heavy metals in unbranded nail polishes retailed in Karachi, Pakistan


  • Aamir Alamgir Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Karachi, Karachi
  • Noor Fatima Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Karachi, Karachi
  • Fatima Malik Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Karachi, Karachi
  • Wajiha Qaiser Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Karachi, Karachi
  • Aradhna Kumari Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Karachi, Karachi
  • Sara Khan Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Karachi, Karachi



Heavy metals, Nail Polish, Health, Karachi, unbranded


This assessment determines the concentrations of arsenic, lead, chromium, nickel, and cadmium in 60 unbranded nail polishes of various colours that were available in local marketplaces in Karachi, Pakistan. The findings demonstrated that mean lead, arsenic, and chromium contents in all the samples fell below FDA-acceptable ranges, and no nail polish colour was discovered to contain levels of these metals that exceeded the upper limits. Similarly, the FDA standards were exceeded by 41.6% of the pink and 25% of the orange nail polish samples. In this investigation, > 3 µg/g Cd was found in nail polish samples of the colours red and pink, respectively, at 66.67% and 8.33%. The order of the mean As, Pb, Cr, Ni, and Cd concentrations in the samples of nail polish that were examined in this study was red>orange>brown>blue>pink; orange>red>blue>pink>brown; red>blue>brown>pink>red; pink>orange>red>blue>brown;  and red>pink>orange>brown>blue. The pink and blue colour samples showed the highest levels of Ni (12.08 µg /g) and Cd (6.28 µg /g).


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How to Cite

Alamgir, A., Fatima, N., Malik, F., Qaiser, W., Kumari, A., & Khan, S. (2023). Assessment of heavy metals in unbranded nail polishes retailed in Karachi, Pakistan. EQA - International Journal of Environmental Quality, 58(1), 34–40.