Dangers of MMA

Info on health hazards and legislation.

Dangers of MMA

Postby jumpyg » Wed May 02, 2007 2:18 pm

What is MMA?

MMA stands for "Methyl Methacrylate", a chemical which appears in a range of products including liquid monomers (acrylic liquid). Although the use of this chemical was banned in America in the 70's, other countries still use this ingredient in their monomers. As of May 1st 2007, MMA for cosmetics was banned in Australia. See http://www.tga.gov.au/ndpsc/record/rr200610.pdf pp 80-86 for further information about that decision.

Why is it so bad?

According to Doug Schoon, Vice President of Science & Technology at Creative Nail Design Systems, there are many myths about MMA.

Scientific information collected about MMA shows that toxicity is NOT the reason MMA makes a poor nail enhancement ingredient. In fact, for many years MMA has been safely implanted in the body as a bone repair cement - so it is not a dangerous toxin, as many imagine.

Then why should MMA not be used? There are four main reasons:

1. MMA nail products do not adhere well to the nail plate. To make these products adhere, nail technicians often shred up (etch) the surface of the nail. This thins the nail plate and makes it weaker.

2. MMA creates the hardest and most rigid nail enhancements, which makes them very difficult to break. When jammed or caught, the overly filed and thinned natural nail plate will often break before the MMA enhancement, leading to serious nail damage.

3. MMA is extremely difficult to remove. Since it will not dissolve in product removers, it is usually pried from the nail plate, creating still more damage.

4.The FDA says don't use it! This is clearly the most important reason. The FDA bases their prohibition on the large number of consumer complaints resulting from the use of MMA nail enhancements in the late 70's and they continue to maintain this position today.

So now we use a product called EMA, which is Ethyl Methacrylate. Paul Bryson, Co-Director of Research & Development for OPI Products, states:

EMA has a somewhat larger molecule, and is less able to penetrate body tissue. Many years of salon experience indicate that this material is safe for most people. Of course, just as with any food, drug or cosmetic, there are always going to be a FEW people allergic to it. And long-term overexposure to ANY acrylic - even odorless or gels - can cause sensitivity to gradually develop.

This is why EMA, and all acrylic or gel products, should only be applied by trained professionals who can minimize the skin exposure that a client experiences.

In the 1970's the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) received a great deal of complaints from people using MMA. They varied from finger damage, disfigurements, and dermititis. The FDA decided that MMA was not a suitable and a danerous product for fingernail enhancements. However, MMA is still used in other cosmetic products and is still used in various countries as an acrylic monomer (liquid).

How can I tell if a technician is using MMA?

MMA has an unusually strong odour and does not smell like other acrylics. Nail enhancements will be hard and difficult to file and remove, hence not soaking off within 30 minutes when using solvents to remove acrylic. MMA shows a cloudy/milky colour when cured

Additional warning signs can be:

1. Unlabelled chemical bottles, or the technician not telling you what products she/he is using. Although the use of MMA in acrylic liquids is not banned in Australia it is a legal requirement for technicians to be able to give you the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

2. Cheap acrylics. Using MMA is about 1/3 cheaper than using EMA

3. Although most technicians use dust masks, it can be an indication of using MMA.

Can I use acrylic polymers (powders) with MMA?

The website Beautytech.info states:

MMA is present in almost every acrylic polymer (powder) on the market. This is entirely acceptable. Only MMA in it's liquid form is dangerous. Nail glues, wraps, and gels also have a small amount of solid PMMA, this is also acceptable in this chemical state.




MMA Links

http://www.health.wa.gov.au/envirohealt ... rylate.pdf

http://www.creativesnewedge.com.au/xp3h ... ochure.pdf


www.braintree.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/93DEF ... chsMMA.doc -

http://probeauty.org/about/committees/n ... _final.pdf


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