CVS Pharmacy is requiring customers to provide proof of age for any product that contains acetone.
The company is concerned that acetone, the primary ingredient in nail polish remover, is also an active ingredient in the production of methamphetamine.
The Woonsocket-based company said the decision is based on regulations requiring retailers to record the sales of acetone-based products.
"Because acetone is an ingredient used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine, we recently implemented a policy that a valid ID must be presented to purchase acetone-containing products such as nail polish remover," a statement from a CVS spokesman said.
But is acetone that dangerous?
"Acetone is not actually used in making the methamphetamine. It's a crucial part of purifying it," said Dr. Mindy Levine, an assistant chemistry professor at the University of Rhode Island.
Levine said acetone is basically used to wash away undesired left-over product so that the meth looks more desirable to someone who wants to buy it.
"We use acetone all the time. We don't consider it a toxic compound," Levine said.
It's typically used to clean glassware and other things. It can be purchased in much larger quantities, like a quart size, at any hardware store without ID.
"It's hard to imagine that acetone found in nail polish remover is a severe issue of public health or drugs," Levine said.
Shoppers said it's strange to be carded to buy something like nail polish remover. But they support keeping people safe and drugs away from young people.
"They're going to have to legally make sure that everyone is accountable for what they're buying," said Jared Power of Warren. "It's not right, but unfortunately, it may come down to that."
"If they've done the research and it's proven, then I'm all for it," said Brian Gray of Warren.
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