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Methacrylates and Carcinogenicity

Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by the common element of unrestrained or abnormal growth of cells. Each year cancer is one of the leading causes of death in countries around the world.

The causes of cancer are poorly understood but are widely regarded to arise from both heritable (susceptibility within our individual genetic makeup) and environmental (exposure to substances naturally occurring or man-made in food, water, air) causes. For example, fair skinned individuals may be more susceptible to skin cancer caused by excessive exposure to sunlight. Some chemicals in the environment can damage the genetic makeup of our cells (genotoxicity) and are recognized as carcinogens (substances that can cause cancer). For example, cigarette smoke contains many chemicals that damage genetic material and cause cancer in experimental animals. Cigarette smoking has been characterized by the Surgeon General as a major cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Short chain alkyl-methacrylate esters do not cause genetic damage or cancer in animals. Studies in workers exposed to MMA for more than 30 years indicate that there is not an increased risk of cancer due to occupational exposure to MMA. For more information, see the following:

Methacrylates and Carcinogenicity Technical Summary