Methacrylic acid–containing primers used in artificial nail cosmetic products are typically not contained in child-resistant packaging, although they are sold to the general public.
To analyze the type and severity of childhood poisoning injuries involving methacrylic acid–containing artificial nail primers.
Secondary analysis of 2 national, population-based injury data sets.
The 1991 through 1993 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data on emergency department visits compiled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the 1993 through 1995 Toxic Exposure Surveillance System data on calls to poison control centers compiled by the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Children younger than 6 years with injuries associated with exposures to nail primers.
In the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, there were 769 exposures to nail preparations, 32 (4.2%) of which involved nail primers. Twenty-eight (87.5%) of 32 nail primer exposures involved children younger than 6 years. Of the severe nail primer injuries, 80% involved preschoolers; most of the injuries were dermal burns. In the Toxic Exposure Surveillance System data set, there were 759 methacrylic acid–containing nail product exposures, of which 567 (74.7%) occurred in children younger than 6 years. Of exposures in preschool children, 56 (9.9%) resulted in moderate severity injuries and 3 (0.5%) in "major" injuries; there were no deaths.
Artificial nail primers containing methacrylic acid represent a corrosive hazard to young children and have been associated with severe injuries. New product labeling and packaging regulations and public education measures that recognize this hazard are recommended.