Canadians are being warned by the Canadian health advisory body, Health Canada, not to use cosmetic nail preparations containing the ingredient methyl methacrylate (MMA) as it is considered unsafe for use.
According to Health Canada, the strong adhesion properties of MMA can cause painful tearing and possible permanent loss of the natural nail, should the artificial nail be jammed or caught.
It also advises that the ingredient can lead to reactions, including red skin rashes, contact dermatitis, itching and/or small oozing blisters in the affected area. MMA may also cause irritation to the nose and throat, as well as headaches.
MMA is used together with acrylic powder to fill the natural fingernail area and the area on top of the applied nail tip. It is most commonly found in cosmetic nail preparations used at salons performing cosmetic nail services, although it can also be found in retail nail kits.
Health Canada highlighted in its statement the fact that the use of this product contravenes section 16 of the Food and Drugs Act which states that no cosmetic may cause injury to the health of the user.
The advisory body adds that although no cosmetic products containing MMA are allowed to be sold in Canada it is issuing the warning due to fears that some cosmetic products containing MMA may still be available on the Canadian marketplace.
Alternatives to MMA permitted by Health Canada include ethyl methacrylate (EMA) and other methacrylate polymers.