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Monomers or the Acrylic system causing hallucinations

Clarifying the Rumour about Monomer Hallucinations


The rumour circulating on Social Media platforms about monomers in acrylic nail systems causing hallucinations is alarming and warrants a clear, evidence-based response.

Understanding Monomers in Acrylic Systems

Monomers are chemical compounds that are used in acrylic nail systems to create a durable and long-lasting finish. The most common monomer used is ethyl methacrylate (EMA), while some older or lower-quality products might use methyl methacrylate (MMA), which is less commonly used today due to its potential health risks.

Health Risks of Monomers

Exposure Risks: Prolonged or excessive exposure to monomers, particularly through inhalation of fumes, can cause various health issues, such as:

  • Skin irritation or sensitisation
  • Respiratory issues, including irritation of the nose and throat
  • Eye irritation

Symptoms of Overexposure: Overexposure to monomer fumes may cause symptoms like dizziness, headaches, and nausea. These symptoms are usually a result of inhaling the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in the monomer.

Addressing the Hallucination Claim

Scientific Evidence: There is currently no scientific evidence to support the claim that monomers used in acrylic nail systems cause hallucinations. Hallucinations are typically associated with severe neurological disturbances or the ingestion of certain psychoactive substances, not with the inhalation of acrylic monomer fumes.

Possible Explanations: The rumour may stem from misunderstandings or exaggerations of the effects of overexposure to monomer fumes. While overexposure can cause discomfort and health issues, it is not known to cause hallucinations.

Clarifying the Confusion: Acrylamide vs. Monomers in Nail Products

We believe that the recent confusion surrounding hallucinations caused by nail monomers likely stems from a misunderstanding related to acrylamide. Acrylamide is a chemical known to cause hallucinations but is not present in nail monomers. Nail monomers, primarily composed of ethyl methacrylate (EMA) and sometimes methyl methacrylate (MMA), do not include acrylamide. Acrylamide is used in different industrial applications, such as the production of polyacrylamide and other polymers, not in nail monomer formulations.

Nail professionals should ensure the products they use are specifically designed for nail applications and avoid unsafe ingredients like MMA, especially those found in unregulated markets. While MMA has significant health risks, including skin sensitivity and respiratory irritation, there is no evidence to suggest it causes hallucinations. The primary concerns with MMA involve physical reactions, not neurological effects.

Best Practices for Safe Use

  1. Ventilation: Ensure that the workspace is well-ventilated to minimize inhalation of fumes. The use of local exhaust ventilation systems or working near open windows can help.
  2. Protective Equipment: Wear appropriate protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, to reduce direct exposure to monomers.
  3. Quality Products: Use high-quality products that comply with safety standards to minimize health risks.
  4. Training: Proper training on the safe handling and application of acrylic products can significantly reduce the risk of overexposure.


While rumours can spread quickly on social media platforms like TikTok, it is essential to rely on scientific evidence and expert advice. Currently, there is no scientific basis for the claim that monomers in acrylic nail systems cause hallucinations. Ensuring safe practices and using high-quality products can help mitigate the known health risks associated with monomers.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to NailKnowledge.

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