BAMM Developments

BAMM Statement Regarding the Recent IARC Cancer Classifications for Three Acrylates (July 9, 2018)

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has announced the cancer classifications made at its June 5-12, 2018 meeting. This includes classifications for three acrylates represented by BAMM. Ethyl acrylate (EA) remains in Group 2B (“possibly carcinogenic to humans”). Methyl acrylate (MA) and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2EHA) also have been classified as Group 2B.

BAMM strongly believes that the Group 2B classifications for MA, EA, and 2EHA are erroneous and misleading, based on poor science and a flawed, non-transparent process. All these substances are well studied and the evidence strongly shows they are highly unlikely to cause cancer in humans. BAMM member companies stand behind the safety of their acrylates for their intended uses. Acrylates are building blocks for polymers used to produce goods that for decades have provided added benefits and convenience to consumers and manufacturers worldwide, such as acrylic paints and textiles, water purification substances, and self-adhesive bandages. Click here for full statement.

Also see the following publications:

BAMM's Position on Use of Acrylates in Artificial Nail Products

The Basic Acrylic Monomer Manufacturers, Inc. (BAMM) represents U.S. manufacturers1 of acrylic acid (AA) and its esters (including ethyl acrylate (EA), methyl acrylate (MA), n-butyl acrylate (n-BA), iso-butyl acrylate (i-BA), and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2EHA)). 

To our knowledge, these substances are not monomer ingredients in nail products.  BAMM’s members believe that the use of these substances, in unreacted monomeric liquid form, would not be appropriate for use in artificial nail products--the corrosive properties of the acid and skin sensitization properties of the esters contraindicate their use in such products.  See BAMM's position paper.

IARC Advisory Group Prioritizes Ethyl Acrylate for Review

During its April 2014 meeting, the IARC Advisory Group recommended priorities for IARC Monographs during 2015-2019. Ethyl Acrylate is included as a “High priority” chemical.   As stated on page 22 of the IARC report:

Ethyl acrylate is an industrial chemical and synthesis intermediate for many consumer products. It was evaluated by IARC in 1986 and again in 1999 (Volumes 39 and 71) and listed in Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans). Ethyl acrylate was also listed as a carcinogen in experimental animals for many years by the NTP Report on Carcinogens, based on the occurrence of forestomach tumours in rats and mice in conjunction with significant toxicity in studies where the chemical was administered by gavage. Cancer studies using other routes of exposure gave negative results. There have been many mechanistic studies carried out over the years suggesting that the forestomach-tumour response may be related to irritation and the proliferative cellular response to deposition of the material in the stomach, calling into question the relevance of this finding to human health hazards.

Recommendation:  High priority

See below for more information about IARC's classification of Ethyl Acrylate:


REACH is the European Union (EU) regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It entered into force on June 1, 2007 with the objective to protect human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals.

The Acrylate REACH Task Force, comprised of BAMM member companies along with other manufacturers in the EU and Japan, completed the registration of the lower acrylates (AA, n-BA, i-BA, t-BA, EA, MA) and 2-EHA as a group of related esters (category) in 2010, before the December 1st deadline for high production volume chemicals (>1000 tpa). The registrations included the conduct of several studies to meet data requirements for compounds in the highest tonnage band, a comprehensive hazard assessment for each compound, as well as an assessment of safe handling conditions for identified uses of each compound.