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What is MMA?

Methyl methacrylate, or MMA, originated in the dental industry for making crowns and bridges. It is also used as bone cement by orthopedic surgeons during joint replacement procedures, in some flooring products, resins, and Plexiglas. This chemical was not designed to come in contact with skin or nails. Did you ever had to wait for a permanent crown to be made in a lab? The reason for this is that MMA, while in a liquid state, should be used in a controlled laboratory environment by properly trained technicians. Once MMA is not dangerous when it has hardened.

In the late 1960s and 70's, some nail technicians began using MMA for acrylic nail services because it was much less expensive than the safer alternative, ethyl methacrylate Due to numerous consumer complaints, the FDA determined that any manufacturer who used MMA in nail products was using a 'poisonous and deleterious substance,' and in 1974 took action against a manufacturer for doing so.

MMA is not recommended for use in acrylic nail products because it is much too hard, and can tear the nail off the finger easily. It is also solvent resistant, which makes it very difficult to remove. It takes a long time to remove MMA when soaking in acetone. Many technicians damage the nail plate when prepping for MMA, since that product needs grooves in the nail in order to stick well. A technician should always protect and preserve the natural nail under any enhancement product. And, finally, MMA should not be used in nail products because the FDA has determined that it is not safe for that purpose.

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