Popular Brazilian Blowout Prompts Health WarningsOct 8, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
The Brazilian Blowout, a popular hair straightening treatment, may be toxic. According to a report on ABC News, significant levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, have been detected in Brazilian Blowout products.
The Brazilian Blowout is a pricey salon treatment that promises to leave hair “frizz-free, shiny, effortlessly manageable and with plenty of body and bounce.” Results are said to last up to 12 weeks. According to its Website, the Brazilian Blowout “smoothes the hair through the use of a proprietary polymer system that bonds amino acids to the surface of the hair.” The site claims that the treatment is “100% salon safe.”
But according to ABC News, that may not be the case. According to the report, the Oregon Occupation Heath and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the Oregon Health and Science University’s Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology tested some of the product after workers at one Oregon salon complained that they had suffered eye irritation, nose bleeds and difficulty breathing after they used the Brazilian Blowout. What was found was alarming.
While the Brazilian Blowout is labeled as being formaldehyde-free, the tests revealed significant levels of the cancer-causing chemical. Two formulations of the product contained 4.85 percent to 10.6 percent formaldehyde. Additional laboratory analysis also detected four additional chemicals in each sample that were not quantified in the lab, including methanol and ethanol.
According to ABC News, if a hair treatment solution contains more than 0.1 percent formaldehyde, the manufacturer is required to alert the stylist. The findings caused the Oregon Health and Science University to issue a public health alert for the Brazilian Blowout.
An official with Oregon OSHA told the ABC program Good Morning America that until salons can confirm that hair care products contain no formaldehyde, they should stop using them or use them in accordance with the formaldehyde standards, which recommends the use of masks, goggles and even respirators.
Yesterday, Canadian regulators issued a health alert in that country regarding the Brazilian Blowout, warning that it contains 12 percent formaldehyde, significantly higher than the 0.2 per cent maximum amount allowed in cosmetics in Canada. Health Canada says it has received “complaints of burning eyes, nose, and throat, breathing difficulties, and one report of hair loss associated with use of the product.”
The manufacturer of Brazilian Blowout is defending its products. According to ABC News, the company questioned the Oregon OSHA tests because samples tested were obtained from salons, not directly from the manufacturer.