Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) is a bonding agent used in artificial nail products. As a bonding agent, MMA sets much faster and adheres more strongly to the nail than other products. It is also cheaper in comparison to other agents, such as Ethyl Methacrylate (EMA).
However the use of MMA has been associated with adverse health effects, and MMA-based acrylic nails will be tough, inflexible, and difficult to remove, and may contribute to nail damage and deformities in nail growth.
People repeatedly exposed to significant levels of MMA commonly complain of drowsiness, light-headedness, dizzy spells, and trembling of hands.
Repeated contact with MMA can also cause skin sensitization or dermatitis, resulting in skin redness, itching, a rash, or swelling.
While consumers who use products containing MMA may be at some risk of some of these adverse effects, the risk is much higher for nail technicians who are frequently and normally exposed to products containing MMA during their work.