Update: American Apparel nail polish recall

January 26, 2010

I wrote earlier today about American Apparel pulling their nail polish from store shelves because it might be hazardous.  I just received a note from them explaining their exact reasoning for the recall of the nail lacquer. It turns out there isn’t anything hazardous in the nail polish that would cause harm to consumers.  The real problem was that the bottles were easily breakable.  The company did the responsible thing of removing them from store shelves. They are also offering to exchange the nail polish you bought for two new bottles of any color you want or a $10 gift card. If this is too much of a hassle for you, I just have to say handle the bottles carefully when using and make sure not to drop them on hard surfaces.

I give American Apparel kudos for using a small mom and pop shop to manufacture their products.  I love anything made in the U.S. of A.  The note I received is below.  I appreciate the clarification. 

Hi, I wanted to drop you a quick comment because fortunately there is nothing in the nail polish that is hazardous to your health. This was our statement to Jezebel this morning but more personally, as soon as the new polish is in, we’re more than happy to trade in every color you have for two new bottles of whatever color you want.


After receiving a few reports of bottles breaking, we made the internal decision to do a voluntary recall of the bottles on both a retail and public level.

We chose this small US manufacturer to produce our nail polish because we support their business model and have a fondness for family who runs it. However, one of the realities of all manufacturing is first-run glitches. We worked all last week with the manufacturer to make the improvements necessary for the second run. Another reason we sought out a US-based company is so we would be able make changes and now, we can investigate what went wrong as quickly as possible. We still believe in the factory we’re working with and the new polish will be in stores within the next two weeks.

We will offer an exchange of two new bottles or a $10 gift card for anyone who brings in a unit from the original run or a receipt.

On another note, one thing we’re taking very seriously is the disposal of the bottles we had in the stores. Even though our polish was DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde-free, we don’t want our stores just tossing it in the trash. We’re using our internal shipping and distribution line to arrange a pickup and removal of the polish to make sure it gets done right.

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