Neon nail polish is illegal to manufacture in the U.S… But only because no one bothered to register it with the FDA
21:25 GMT, 1 May 2012
When Jan Arnold, co-founder of CND (Creative Nail Design) said neon nail polish was illegal to produce in the U.S., fashionistas desperate to get their hands on the day-glow shades went into panic mode.
Without knowing the reason why, one couldn't help but assume that there was something harmful in the chemicals.
But in an interview with MailOnline, CND's chief scientific advisor, Doug Schoon, explained that neon colourants are not illegal to wear, they have simply never been officially registered with the FDA.
Colour pop: Neon nails are all the rage this spring after they showed up on the runways of the spring/summer shows but neon is unavailable in the U.S.
Nail polish colourants, explained the nail manufacturing expert, must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration prior to production but no one has ever thought to submit any neon shades.
Consequently, he expanded, the 'ban' of neon has 'nothing to
do with safety' but is simply a matter of comfort with the status
'What determines whether a colour is neon is the chemical composition, just as it is with blues and greens,' Mr Schoon told us.
Any company could register a line of neon colours but 'it's expensive and too much work,' he said.
Safe: The FDA has not approved neon, not because of safety issues but because no one has ever registered it (stock image)
Smaller manufacturers have thrown caution to the wind in response to the demand for the brightly coloured palette and have gone ahead with production regardless.
But larger companies like to 'play by the book' and are less likely to risk being made an example of should the FDA feel inclined to punish them.
Manufacturers and brands such as these find their customers are happy with bright, vibrant colours that while not scientifically neon, achieve the same affect.
But Mr Schoon also admitted that technically speaking, neon is not 'illegal' and with 'more important things to deal with' the government agency is likely to 'turn a blind eye' to its small scale production.
Asked whether, the current demand for neon was a potential worry for a company like CND, he replied: '[The trend] is isolated to a limited section of the population – I don't see it getting bigger.'