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Methacrylates and Genotoxicity

The genetic material (genes, DNA) of an organism contains the codes that determine their inherited characteristics (sex, color, size, etc.) and that regulate the functions necessary for life. Groups of genes are organized into chromosomes in the cells. When cells replicate it is critical that their genetic materials (genes and chromosomes) remain the same. Some chemicals have been shown to interact with genetic material, and cause genes to malfunction. This could result in the development of diseases such as cancer, or, if the damaged genes are in the eggs or sperm, could cause birth defects in future generations. The term genotoxicity is used to describe interactions that result in changes (mutations) in the genetic material of a cell.

There are three major genotoxicity end points associated with human disease. These include small changes in the genetic code (gene mutations), larger deletions or rearrangements in the structure of chromosomes (chromosomal aberrations or clastogenic effects), and changes in the number of chromosomes (aneuploidy) in a cell. Safety assessments of substances include a combination of tests to assess whether a substance has the potential of the material to cause genotoxicity or not.

Methacryllic acid (MAA) and the methacrylate esters (MMA, EMA, nBMA, iBMA and 2-EHMA) have been tested in a series of well validated studies using bacteria, mammalian cells in culture, and laboratory animals to assess their potential to cause damage to genes or chromosomes. The overall results of this battery of tests indicate that methacrylic acid and the methacrylate esters are not genotoxic and are not a cause for concern with regard to carcinogenic potential or for causing birth defects.  For more information, see the following:

Methacrylates and Genotoxicity Technical Summary