Acrylics, what’s up with those?
So! I went ahead and researched a bit about one of the most controversial an most talked about type of body jewellery there is!
One says it’s okay, the other says it’s only suitable for healed piercings and I say something else… A combination of the above but also my personal and professional experience.
Also I could say don’t wear it all together, but youth… money…
You will be doing whatever you want to do anyways so I prefer to inform you of the risks and the ways you could minimise these so here we go:
Wat is acrylic? Acrylic is really the name of a group of different materials based on acrylic.
Some acrylic jewellery is made of PMMA.
PMMA means Poly Methyl Meth Acrylate. It’s raw materials are acetone, methanol, hydrogen cyanide and sulfuric acid. Even though these aren’t the frendliest materials, the final product is apparently harmless according to some.
It’s also called Plexiglas or Perspex, Altuglas en Oroglas, Lucite.
It is a cheap alternative to polycarbonate which is also a very strong plastic but it secretes Bisphenol-A. This is a substance that can cause permanent damage to different bodily functions.
PMMA is very bio-compatible with human tissue and it was used to fabricate hard contact lenses that were implanted in the eye during the first procedures against cataracts. This compatibility was first discovered by English ophtalmologist Sir Harold Ridley during the Second World War. Pilots had their eyes riddled with PMMA splinters from the windows of the Spitfire – this plastic got barely rejected, in contrary to the glass splinters from planes.
Polymethylmethacrylate allows about ninety percent of the light to pass through and is therefore often used as a substitute for glass, against which it offers some advantages: it is lighter; it doesn't shatter; it is easy to shape; it allows more light to pass than regular glass would. There are also disadvantages: it is less hard than glass and thus more susceptible to damage (scratches); without the necessary additives it doesn't block UV rays (depending on the application this may also be an advantage though); it is less heat-resistant than glass. It is highly flammable. Although PMMA is biologically compatible, MMA is irritating to the skin and can be considered a carcinogen.
Polymer clay, also known as Fimo is certainly dangerous if you compare it to acrylics. This type of acrylate secretes chlorine, always, and chlorine is deadly to all forms of life. It causes skin necrosis, which is the dying of the skin. Even when worn through tunnels or eyelets is is strongly discouraged because it will be coming in contact with your skin.
Basicly, look for the right type of acrylic. Is it PMMA or is it MMA? There isn’t a really good way to find out, so if you get irritation of skin, teary eyes or redness when wearing any type of acrylic jewellery, take it off/out. To be sure, when you don’t know which type of acrylic you’re wearing, don’t wear it longer than a day.
Acrylics/MMA can’t be autoclaved. Which means it can not be sterilized and thus is not suitable for initial jewellery or for insertion in irritated or not yet fully healed piercings. This type of plastic if often easy to break or scratch which can create ideal habitat for bacteria which are difficult to get rid of even with washing the jewellery. The skin can get sticky on to the material, even when it’s fully healed, which can make je insertion or removal of this type of jewellery difficult, painful or even dangerous and thus it is certainly not advisable for stretching (unless you are perfectly positively sure it’s PMMA).