I talk to everyone about MMA. I’ve talked to the FDA, MMA manufacturers, the board of health, fellow techs, and state board members, I’ve also talked to newspapers, lobbyists, and even out state lawyer. My husband accuses me of talking to the dogs about MMA,” says nail technician Diana Bonn, owner of Color Classiques in Muncie, Ind., and self-appointed crusader in the fight against MMA.
She first heard of the potentially hazardous substance not long after the first discount salon appeared in Muncie four years ago. “We started getting client complaints almost immediately. Infections, blood under acrylic, fungus, cuts, holes in nail beds, etc. I complained to my state board inspector, but she said the only reason I was mentioning it was because the discount salons posed competition,” Bonn says. She dropped the subject, and in the meantime five new discount salons opened their doors. “We started to get at least two phone calls a day from people asking us what to do about their nail damage. They’d ask, ‘Why doesn’t to get at least two phone calls a day from people asking us what to do about their nail damage. They’d ask, ‘Why doesn’t someone do something about this? When the state board failed to step in, my staff and I decided would start educating the public ourselves,” says Bonn.
Bonn found her best source of information and inspiration on the Beauty Tech. com website. “I copied all the information that was posted and started to hand it out to clients and even to a local newspaper reporter who did an article,” she says. When Bonn wanted to know how many states had banned MMA, she personally contacted every state board. “Most states were very helpful and gave me more information than I had even thought of. Several of these states are as frustrated as we are about MMA use and are working as hard as they can given they’re short on money and man-hours. Then there are some states that just gave us the runaround, and even a few that said they had no idea what MMA is.” As of October, Bonn found that 30 states have regulations against the usage of liquid monomer containing MMA and 19 states do not. (For Bonn’s compete report, see www.beautytech.com/nailtech/articles.htm.)
Bonn’s involvement with the issue also led to her testifying before an Indiana State Senate committee. Not long after completing her survey, she was surprised by a call from her local state representative who said there was a bill on MMA pending in the state legislature. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Mary Kay Budak, had heard about MMA from her daughter, a nail technician. She contacted Bonn and they exchanged information.
Then Budak asked her to give testimony at the state Senate hearings on MMA. Indiana later passed the bill against MMA.
Bonn encourages everyone who’s concerned about MMA to become active in their own states. “I wish I could do it for you, but you’ve got to take it in your own hands and go for it!” she says.