False labeling and formaldehyde fumes at heart of hair straightening treatment lawsuit

Hair straightening treatments may release high levels of formaldehyde, experts warn.

California’s attorney general announced earlier this week that the makers of Brazilian Blowout, a popular hair straightening treatment used in hair salons and spas, will change their labels to alert consumers of formaldehyde emissions.

With this agreement, they are settling a lawsuit that was filed in November against the company for misleading consumers.

The two products, the Brazilian Blowout Acai Smoothing Solution and Brazilian Blowout Professional Smoothing Solution, were labeled as being formaldehyde-free, but tests showed emissions of formaldehyde when the treatments were applied with high heat.

The products may release formaldehyde at levels above OSHA’s permissible limits, and according to OSHA can pose health risks to salon workers.

“Salon owners, stylists, and other salon workers have the right know what is in the products that they are buying and using and how to protect their workers and themselves from formaldehyde exposure,” OSHA states on its website.

Formaldehyde is a known cancer-causing substance. Exposure to formaldehyde can also cause:

  •  Eye irritation and damage, including blindness.
  •  Nose irritation, including bloody noses.
  •  Skin sensitivity, rashes, and itching.
  •  Breathing difficulties, such as coughing and wheezing.

Levels of formaldehyde above 0.1 ppm in the air can irritate your nose, throat, and lungs. These symptoms will get worse as formaldehyde levels go up.

In the California lawsuit, attorneys sought full disclosure on the labels and fair notice to consumers.

As part of the settlement, the company making Brazilian Blowout will pay $600,000 in penalties and fines for failing to notify consumers about the chemicals and to have the products tested at a state-approved lab.

The company also agreed to provide beauty salons and spas with a pamphlet containing necessary safety precautions when using the products.

With the new labeling and marketing changes, the products will remain on the California market and can still be a health hazard to stylists, salon workers and clients.

Source: The Washington Post

Improve the air quality in salons and spas

Formaldehyde is one indoor air pollutant that can be found in beauty salons and spas, but other chemicals and fumes may also expose workers and clients to health hazards.

CleanBreeze 3: A powerful air cleaner with source capture.

Most existing ventilation systems are unable to remove the contaminants and to provide enough fresh air, which is why many stylists and salon owners turn to portable air cleaners to help improve the air quality.

A salon and spa air cleaner needs many pounds of activated carbon and a special carbon blend to be able to remove a wide range of chemicals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds), including formaldehyde, toluene and ethanol.

In salons where many hair straightening, hair dye and other treatments fill the air with harmful chemicals, a specially designed air cleaner with a flexible arm and source capture attachment is needed to remove harmful toxins right as they are released.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and suggestions.