Chemicals are known to cause toxin-induced aplastic anemia. However, some chemicals documented in only a few cases to possess only a possibility of toxic potential may also be responsible for the development of aplastic anemia. This report presents a case of a string musician with bone marrow failure. The patient used a certain type of polish (komalak) to shine his musical instrument and did this frequently. He presented with nasal bleeding, and a workup on admission revealed pancytopenia. Aplastic anemia was diagnosed on the basis of bone marrow histology results. An analysis for gene polymorphism related to the metabolic detoxification enzymes glutathione S-transferase and N-acetyltransferase 2 indicated that the patient was genetically susceptible to developing toxicity. This case suggests that frequent use of this polish may cause a toxic effect that leads to bone marrow failure. Musicians should be made aware of the risks associated with these types of chemicals. (c) 2005 The Japanese Society of Hematology.