Ethyl Methacrylate

What Is It?

Ethyl Methacrylate is a colorless, liquid substance. It is used as an ingredient in artificial nail products.

Why Is It Used?

Ethyl Methacrylate is used as an artificial nail builder in artificial fingernail enhancement products.

Scientific Facts

Ethyl Methacrylate is an olefinic acid ester.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits polymers of Ethyl Methacrylate to be used as indirect food additives for use in food contact surfaces. The safety of Ethyl Methacrylate has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel reviewed the scientific data and concluded that Ethyl Methacrylate was safe for use in the formulation of artificial nail products when accompanied by directions to avoid skin contact because of the possibility of an allergic reaction to Ethyl Methacrylate.

CIR Safety Review: Ethyl Methacrylate was a skin irritant and sensitizer. Positive evidence of mutagenicity was observed in a lymphoma cell assay, but not in two tests in bacteria. Case reports cite examples of individuals suffering allergic contact dermatitis from exposure to Ethyl Methacrylate and related methacrylates, and some degree of cross-reactivity appears to exist between widely used acrylates and methacrylates. Information from several clinical registries of sensitization reactions to various agents reported that Ethyl Methacrylate is a potential sensitizer, but not a potent one. Because Ethyl Methacrylate monomer is short-lived in the normal course of using artificial fingernail-enhancement products, the primary hazard is expected to be inadvertent skin contact. In order to avoid sensitization, it is necessary to avoid skin contact. Based on the available data on the formulation of nail enhancement products containing this ingredient, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that Ethyl Methacrylate was safe as used, when application is accompanied by directions to avoid skin contact.

FDA Code of Federal Regulations for polymers of Ethyl Methacrylate

Ethyl Methacrylate may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.

In Canada, products containing Ethyl Methacrylate must be labeled “Avoid skin contact.” 

More Scientific Information

Other technical names for Ethyl Methacrylate include Ethyl 2-Methyl-2-Propenoate, 2-Methyl-2-Propenoic Acid, Ethyl Ester and 2-Propenoic Acid, 2-Methyl-, Ethyl Ester.