2011 saw quite a saga involving the Brazilian Blowout range of hair straightening products and the safety of some of their ingredients. The saga and resulting investigation in the US has reached a settlement but is definitely not over.
For those not in the know, many stylists complained about respiratory symptoms related to hair straightening treatments which resulted in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigating the Brazilian Blowout brand of salon hair straightening products.
The products were found to contain high levels of formaldehyde, a carcinogenic ingredient, which wasn’t disclosed in the packaging and as a result, many industry groups began lobbying for a complete ban on the products.
Brazilian Blowout was charged $600 000 in fees and penalties and was ordered by the California Attorney General to put hazard warnings on the packaging and change information on their website as well as provide cancer risk materials to salons.
However, safety watchdogs are not happy, believing that these violations have not been addressed and the company continues to sell products containing hazardous carcinogenic products and that the products should be banned completely.
Many salons are requiring customers to wear paper surgical masks while their stylists are wearing heavy duty filtered masks to prevent inhalation of the fumes. However, the debate continues as to whether these precautions are sufficient and whether these products should be in use in salons around the world.