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How flammable is gel polish?

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Just how flammable is UV Gel Nail Polish

Q: How flammable is gel polish and is this why some are classified as “hazardous substance” for shipping?  I must travel with my nail products and some airlines are happy for you to check these products in luggage and others aren’t.

It is true that airlines are becoming increasingly concerned with what they fly as cargo.

The Key Role of Safety Data Sheets for Nail Technicians

One way that nail technicians can get information about flammability and other safety information is from the products Safety Data Sheet or (SDS). The SDS will list what’s called the “flashpoint” for all substances that can catch fire and burn. The flash point is exactly what it sounds like, it is the temperature at which the product will catch fire. In the US, if the flash point is below 100F (38C) the product is considered flammable. Those above this temperature are considered combustible, which means the substance is less likely to be a fire hazard. The lower the flash point is, the more flammable the substance.

A Comparative Analysis for Safety Awareness”

Acetone for instance, has a flashpoint of about 5F (-15C), which is highly flammable. This means that even if the acetone were cooled to -15C, it can still catch fire and burn. 

Paper is combustible, not flammable. Most don’t realize that paper must be heated to more than 450F (230C) before it will burn.  Combustible means the substance will burn, but it’s not likely to catch fire on its own without being heated. So clearly, transporting paper is a lot safer than acetone, based on flammability

Decoding UV Gels, Removers, and Solvents for Nail Technicians

Most, but not all UV gels, have flash points that are above 100F (38C) and are therefore considered to be combustible and not flammable. Removers and solvents are usually below 100F and are therefore highly flammable. Don’t be confused by the term “inflammable”. Some mistakenly think this means the substance can’t burn when in fact inflammable means the same thing as flammable.

Packing SDS Sheets for Nail Products During Air Travel

Anything considered inflammable also has a flash point below 100F (38C). Substances that don’t burn are called “Non-flammable”. Anyone who does a lot of flying may wish to consider packing the SDS sheets along with your nail products. That may help you get it checked in more easily. 

In Conclusion

Understanding the flammability of nail products, such as gel polish, is crucial, especially when it comes to traveling with these items. Airlines have become more cautious about transporting hazardous substances, prompting the need for awareness among nail technicians.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) provide valuable information, including the flashpoint of substances, which indicates their propensity to catch fire.

In the United States, products with flashpoints below 100F (38C) are classified as flammable, while those above this temperature are considered combustible and less likely to pose a fire hazard.

Most UV gels have flash points above 100F, categorizing them as combustible rather than flammable. However, removers and solvents typically have flashpoints below 100F, making them highly flammable. It’s essential not to confuse the term “inflammable” with non-flammable substances, as both indicate the potential for burning.

For frequent flyers, it is advisable to carry SDS sheets along with nail products, as this might facilitate their safe check-in during air travel. By understanding and adhering to proper safety precautions, nail technicians can ensure the responsible handling and transportation of flammable substances in their profession.

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