The Safety and Standards Committee of the Nail Manufacturers Council (NMC) has issued its final report on ethyl methacrylate (EMA), the chemical most common in acrylic monomers. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) board determined that “the ingredient is safe as used when application is accompanied by directions to avoid skin contact because of the sensitizing potential of ethyl methacrylate.” In addition, the CIR recommended that trained individuals apply commercial fingernail enhancement products containing the chemical, and that skin contact be avoided.

The committee first approved the use of the chemical in nail products in June 1999. It had determined that methacrylates as a class, and ethyl methcrylate in particular, were only weak allergens. In addition, only a few incidents of allergies have been reported to the FDA and to an industry database.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.