What is MMA?

Methyl Methacrylate
 (MMA) is an ingredient that was commonly used in early “acrylic” nail services.  In the early 1970's, the FDA received numerous complaints of personal injuries associated with the use of acrylic monomer formulated with MMA.  The reports included serious nail damage or loss, contact dermatitis, soreness and infection due to breaks caused by the rigidly adhered MMA acrylic.

 

 

By the end of the 1970's, the FDA had taken action against several manufacturers that marketed MMA liquid monomers.  Most professional nail manufacturers use a product called EMA or Ethyl Methacrylate- which has been declared safe & approved for use in the beauty industry. 

What are the health risks associated with MMA products?

MMA-related complaints range from skin allergies to permanent loss of the nail plate.  Here are the most common complaints that prompted the FDA to take action:


Nail Infections:

 The surface bond of MMA acrylic is so strong that even a slight trauma causes the nail to break and lift off the nail bed; which may result in infection and/or loss of the nail plate.  Ironically, it is the strength of the “acrylic” that attracts some users.  While MMA used in the medical and dental industries provides superior adhesion to bone, it is not appropriate or safe for use on the softer nail tissue.
 


Respiratory problems
:

 Eyes, nose & throat irritations- Without proper extraction ventilation, MMA vapors may cause sinus problems, as well as pins & needles in the extremities.  

 

Permanent Nail Deformities:

 
The extreme damage that may occur as a result of trauma can affect the matrix (where the nail plate comes from), and cause full or partial permanent loss of the nail plate.


Severe Allergic Reactions:

 Repeated exposure to MMA can result in severe allergic reactions.  Redness, swelling, numbness and itching are common symptoms which may lead to blisters/open sores, resulting in a permanent allergic reaction.