METHYL METHACRYLATE ( MMA )
Once transformed into polymer, the MMA (methyl methacrylate) offers real benefits to manufacturers’ finished product: stability, durability, hardness, impact, scratch resistance and brilliance.
Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) is produced for use as a building block to make a wide range of polymer-based products that we see and use every day from acrylic glass, car paints, toners and inks, oil additives to dental and medical products to name but a few. MMA is of low concern to human health and the environment. It is classified as hazardous (highly flammable and skin irritant and sensitizing) but has been handled safely by industry and professionals for over 60 years. MMA-based polymers are inert in the environment and can be recycled back to the monomer.
Name: Methyl Methacrylate
Chemical name (IUPAC): 2-Methyl-propenoic acid, methyl ester
Synonym: Methyl Methacrylate
CAS number(s): 80-62-6
Molecular formula: C5H8O2
USES AND APPLICATIONS
MMA is produced for use as monomer for production of polymers and as intermediate for synthesis of other methacrylate esters. The substance is manufactured in industrial settings in closed systems and used by industry for manufacture of polymers in closed and semi-closed systems. Downstream use of MMA is almost exclusively in the form of polymer although some products used by professionals and hobbyists may contain significant quantities of the liquid monomer.
HUMAN HEALTH SAFETY ASSESSMENT
Information for the general population and consumers handling products made with methyl methacrylate.
Consumer exposure is unlikely due to extremely low levels of residual monomer in polymers used in consumer products (used as monomer in polymerization). Some professional/DIY and hobbyist products may contain liquid MMA monomer. Direct skin contact with liquid monomer could produce skin irritation, and repeated contact could lead to skin sensitization (allergy or dermatitis). Inhalation of high levels of vapors may irritate the respiratory system.
Workers may come into contact with MMA during polymer production and professional use of products containing liquid monomer. Workers should follow the recommended safety measures as provided by the manufacturer in the Safety Data Sheet. The health effects following skin contact or inhalation of the vapors would be the same as for the consumer.