Artificial fingernail products are made from many chemicals, but the main one in most of these products is ethyl methacrylate (EMA). In 1974 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration outlawed a similar chemical, methyl methacrylate (MMA), used in fingernail products. MMA was proven harmful to nail technicians and customers. However, both MMA and EMA can cause contact dermatitis, asthma, and allergies in the eyes and noseCall problems that nail technicians know about. Both can make the eyes, nose, and other mucous membranes sting, become red, and swell. Customers are at risk, too. Because it is often difficult to tell which chemical in a nail salon is causing a sensitivity or allergy, it is best to control your exposure before you become sensitized.
For more information from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, see NIOSH Publication No. 99-112/.
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