LOS ANGELES (AP) — Many
discount manicure salons have begun using an inexpensive glue for acrylic
fingernails that federal regulators say could expose wearers to fungal
infections and nail deformities.
The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about methyl methacrylate
in acrylic fingernail glue 26 years ago, but never formally regulated the
chemical because most salons voluntarily stopped using it.
MMA-based bonding fluid, which can cost as little as $15 a gallon, was
replaced by what is considered a safer glue that costs about $215 a gallon.
The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that many discount salons have begun
using MMA again to keep prices low.
MMA makers say the product is safe. It's primarily used in making Plexiglas
and Lucite, in dentistry and to bind a prosthesis to the bone in joint
"I haven't heard from anyone that our product hurt them,'' said Jennifer
Hajali, vice president of CA Chemists, an Anaheim manufacturer that produces
MMA. ``This has become a hot topic in the last two years because competition
from discount salons is so fierce.''
Thirty states regulate the use of MMA in nails, but the rules are mostly
ineffectual. California, which banned MMA use in nail salons in 1993, has only
15 inspectors for 9,348 salons, and violators face fines of only $25.
The 1974 FDA warning was based on complaints about nail fungus, a loosening
of natural nails and discolorations, but MMA manufacturers say the product has
changed since then and is now less harsh.
John Bailey, director of the FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors, said the
agency is aware of new concerns, but has not yet taken any action to