In May 2003, Health Canada issued a warning about a chemical used in cosmetic fingernail preparations called methyl methacrylate (MMA)
In May 2003, Health Canada issued a warning about a chemical used in cosmetic fingernail preparations called methyl methacrylate (MMA). MMA has strong adhesive properties and is used by estheticians to build fake nails on top of natural nails. MMA can cause rashes, itching, contact dermatitis, and blisters. Because it is such a powerful adhesive, it can also cause the natural nail underneath to tear upon removal. Unsure of what your manicurist uses? Signs of MMA in nail "enhancements" include a harsh chemical smell causing dizziness. These products are difficult to dissolvie in nail solvents and be difficult to file down (estheticians will often have to grind them down to the natural nail with a special tool). MMA products are often lower-priced enhancements (safer alternatives to MMA are more expensive). Be sure to ask your manicurist about the ingredients in her nail-building material. If she uses an MMA-based product, ask for a safer alternative. Some salons offer light-cured gels (applied with a brush then hardened under UV light) and wraps made of silk, linen, or fiberglass resin. The best way to avoid any chemicals on your nails is to clip and file them, then buff them to a polished shine without the chemicals.
Source: Health Canada (gc-sc.gc.ca).