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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION

  1. USES: Methyl methacrylate is used in the production of acrylics, clear plastics, marble-like surfaces, extrusion powders, paints and inks, adhesive cements, industrial flooring compositions, precast concrete composites, resin mortars, polishes, dental fillers, surgical implants, and bone cements.
  1. TOXICOLOGY: Methyl methacrylate decreases the amplitude of the action potential in peripheral nerves by causing lysis of membrane lipids and destruction of the myelin sheath. It is an irritant and sensitizer, and can cause bronchospasm and dermatitis. At high concentrations, it has CNS and respiratory depressant effects. It is thought to promote granuloma formation and trigger focal bone resorption.
  1. EPIDEMIOLOGY: Exposure to liquid methyl methacrylate is generally occupational. It is usually found as a commercial or technical grade (99.8% pure) which contains inhibitors such as hydroquinone or monomethyl ether of hydroquinone to prevent polymerization. Once polymerized, it is inert.
  1. WITH POISONING/EXPOSURE
    1. MILD TO MODERATE TOXICITY
      1. ORAL: Significant systemic toxicity is not expected after acute ingestion. If an object made from the polymer is ingested, it presents a potential foreign body (choking) hazard.
      1. DERMAL: Irritation dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, numbness, paresthesias, cold sensation in extremities, and cutaneous burns may occur. Eczematous reactions of onychial and paronychial tissues have been reported in patients using acrylic plastic nails. Dystrophic nail changes may persist for months. Irreversible loss of the fingernails has occurred.
      1. INHALATION: Occupational exposure through inhalation has resulted in asthma, narcosis, headache, dizziness, extremity pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, irritability, memory loss, depression, laryngitis, anorexia, nausea, drowsiness, and decrement in olfactory ability.
      1. OCULAR: Corneal irritation and lens opacity may occur.
    1. SEVERE TOXICITY
      1. INHALATION: Can cause drowsiness, CNS or respiratory depression.
      1. DERMAL: Chronic exposure can cause peripheral neuropathy.
      1. OTHER: Systemic vasodilation and transient hypotension have been reported following use as a bone cement in total hip replacement procedures. Methacrylic acid-containing primers used in artificial nail cosmetic products are highly corrosive and have been associated with respiratory toxicity and cutaneous burn. Refer to "ACIDS" management for information on methacrylic acid.
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