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Re: Hazardous chemical in nail enhancement products

Re: Hazardous chemical in nail enhancement products

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Posted by Marti on November 29, 2000 at 22:49:34:

In Reply to: what is the name of the posionous chemical in nail acrlic posted by Lynette on November 29, 2000 at 21:13:36:

: What is the name of th eposionous chemical in nail acrlic that is used illegally in the united states?

The name of the chemical is methyl methacrylate or more commonly called MMA. MMA (Methyl Methacrylate) is a particularly hazardous acrylic product which has been banned for use on the fingernails by the FDA and enforced by several states that have officially banned it from use in the salons. Contrary to popular belief, all acrylic formulas aren’t alike, even though the end products are similar. Dental acrylic uses the chemical ingredient methyl methacrylate in the monomer to create an extremely strong acrylic compound that’s used to make false teeth.

An extremely strong acrylic for nails might seem like a good idea at first—after all, an acrylic that would create a stronger bond with the natural nail would, in theory, be less likely to lift. But because dental monomer/polymer systems were designed for use on teeth—they have to stand up to regular chewing in your mouth—they’re far too hard and adhere too well to the natural nail plate, according to Jim Nordstrom, president of Vista, California-based manufacturer Creative Nail Design Systems. "If a client were to hit the nail hard the wrong way, the extension wouldn’t give and flex; it would break, sometimes painfully below the smile line." Or, the natural nail might break underneath the solid acrylic extension, meaning you’d have to remove the extension before you could treat the break in the nail.

If that sounds painful, imagine having to drill all the acrylic off the nail plate instead of gently soaking it off. Doug Schoon, a chemist with Creative Nail Design Systems, says that because of its hardness, dental acrylic had to be drilled or ground off the natural nail rather than soaked off with acetone, which often damaged the nail plate.

Methyl methacrylate was also the culprit in a large number of severe allergy cases. According to Schoon, the chemical has hundreds of times the allergy potential of today’s nail acrylic formulas.

At this point, you may be thinking, "But how can dental acrylic be used in people’s mouths every day and not cause the same allergic reactions?" The key here is frequency, says Schoon. It takes repeated exposure to a substance to cause an allergic reaction. Getting a fill every two weeks is not the same thing as having a tooth reconstructed once or twice in a lifetime.

Along with more frequent allergic reactions, the FDA found a higher level of soft tissue infections from the use of methyl methacrylate nail products, says Nordstrom. Complaints showed a high incidence of pink eye (conjunctivitis) as well in clients who used methyl methacrylate nail acrylic. "Because the monomer is highly volatile [evaporates rapidly], the concentration of the chemical in the air caused problems in users eyes," Nordstrom explains.

In addition to these health concerns, methyl methacrylate acrylic products were also difficult for some techs to use. The product would set more quickly due to its volatility and tended to turn yellow more rapidly.

To see a photo of nails damaged by MMA, you can visit my website at the link below. The link is directed to the correct page.

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