MMA vs. EMA
So there is this on going issue in the nail industry: MMA(Methyl MethAcrylate) vs. EMA(Ethyl MethAcrylate). A lot of articles and information can be very helpful in theory, but how can you tell if you have come into contact with MMA products.
Look, lets get real:
Not all nail techs and acrylic producing companies are telling the truth about the products they create, sell and use on clients.
How can you protect yourself and your clients from MMA exposure?
First of all, test the products. Mix the monomer with the acrylic powder. Let it harden and then let it soak in acetone to see if the product dissolves. If the product dissolves, then the acrylic product is safe, EMA. If it does not dissolve, its MMA. Do this in front of clients to inform them.
MMA was developed for use in the dental industry. However, they use it in a lab with proper ventilation when filling the molds sent in by the dental office. This is okay because once the product has hardened, it is no longer harmful.
Now, imagine this product on the nail. As a nail tech, I can tell you first hand it is very difficult to remove acrylic MMA because it doesn’t dissolve and there is a lot of filing and usually causes damage. Very uncomfortable for clients. EMA dissolves in acetone and easily files off. The odor of the liquid monomer is very STRONG, which is damaging and unsafe for breathing. It is also banned by the FDA. Clients who I have come to me to have MMA removed from nails, tell me they felt betrayed and lied to, which is never good. If you run into this situation as a tech, reassuring them to rebuild trust can ease any tension the previous experience might have caused.
Best advice: research and test acrylic before using is on clients. Take special care when removing MMA from nail to prevent damage, since it does not dissolve in acetone. Finally, educate clients about MMA to avoid and protect yourself, co-workers and clients from harmful side effects.
Let me know what your experiences have been with acrylic services, feedback, communication and education are key in preventing harmful and illegal salon products and services.
Thank you for reading!
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