The dangers and health hazards of Methyl methacrylate (MMA) have been researched and proven to be unsafe for use in nail products since far back as 1978 by the FDA. It is commonly used by dentists to make crowns and bridges for their patients, also by surgeons for bone repairs and plastic surgeries.
METHYL METHACRYLATE (MMA)
Methyl methacrylate is an acrylic monomer, it can also be found in some acrylic powder used for nails, the liquid on it’s own is very harmful but its even more dangerous when it is used together with acrylic powder on the nails.
Some nail technicians use this MMA liquid because it doesn’t lift from the nail plate as it causes extreme adhesion and is highly prohibited as it can rip off the entire nail if any accident occurs. Other MMA related effect include numbness, skin allergy, permanent loss of nails etc, and if mixed with other substances like acrylic powder can trigger asthma or other respiratory allergic responses.
This is very dangerous because the moment it adheres to the nail plate it becomes hard as concrete which cannot be easily broken, that is why they use excessive filing either using e-files or manually to beat it down to shape. It is also resistant to dissolving (acetone soak off) which makes it hard to remove.
Another reason some of these salons still use it is because it is very cheap to purchase and that’s why some of them still offer relatively cheap services.
Even if we want our nails to last long because we have paid for it, we also want to be able to safely remove them without causing any damage to our natural nails or to ourselves, but with MMA you cannot totally guarantee that.
ETHYL METHACRYLATE (EMA)
Ethyl methacrylate is a type of acrylic liquid that can be found in most acrylic systems. It is completely safe for use by trained technicians and doesn’t cause any damage to the nails or the body. Even though the EMA liquid has an odour, the MMA has a different smell and one can easily tell the difference as it has a strong and an unbearable smell that could affect you physically.
Care must be taken in the work space even when using EMA.
Some of the things to note to avoid the use of MMA
- Only visit nail technicians you trust their products and services,
- Any unusual strong or unbearable smell that has negative physical effect,
- Extensions that are extremely difficult to file,
- Extensions that do not remove or takes too long to soak off even in pure acetone,
- Nail technicians with dodgy products e.g. unlabelled or very old containers and can’t boldly defend their products.