Nail bars focus of crackdown over use of dangerous chemicals - The Leamington Observer

Nail bars focus of crackdown over use of dangerous chemicals

NAIL bars in the district have been the focus of a crackdown over the use of dangerous chemicals.

Following national concern, Warwick District Council launched a safety campaign to ensure chemical risks to staff and customers were minimised – including the use of liquid Methyl Methacrylate (MMA).

The chemical creates a rigid exterior and is notoriously difficult to remove and if the natural nail breaks underneath it can lead to infection and permanent damage.

The substance can also trigger serious skin and respiratory reactions when used for nail enhancements.




While the product is not banned in UK nail bars, government regulations state if a safer alternative such as Ethyl Methacrylate (EM) is available, this should be used instead.

The use of MMA powder is also considered much safer than in liquid format and is significantly cheaper than EM.


Inspectors found two nail bars using the MMA liquid, which have been warned to swap for a safer alternative.

They added a revisit to the venues was imminent and if the product was still in use, it would be seized or the operators would be served with enforcement notices.

Inspectors also found poor ventilation and selection of face masks, and a lack of knowledge around infections in some venues.

But beauty salons which offered nail treatments were generally found to be of a higher standard with good awareness and qualified staff.

Nail artist Katie Barnes, who also runs her own training academy in Warwick, said while there was a lot of scaremongering and myths surrounding the use of liquid MMA, it was safe to use in a lot of industries such as dentistry and construction – but not for nail enhancements.

She added: “One of my customers who was previously using a salon that used MMA in its liquid form, trapped her finger in a car door and where the enhancement should have cracked, it didn’t, and it pulled her natural nail plate from the nail bed. The nail has never grown back, and now she’s now unable to wear an enhancement on that nail.

“I would advise for peace of mind, never be afraid to ask a technician about the products they are using or for proof of insurance or qualifications – a well-educated technician should be glad to show you these.”

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