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Brazilian Blowout Agrees to Change Labels to Warn of Formaldehyde

On behalf of Oldham & Smith posted in Product Liability on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When someone goes to a salon to get their hair done, they shouldn’t have to worry about getting a bad reaction from chemicals in hair treatments. The company that makes a popular hair-straightening treatment has agreed to change the product’s labels to identify potentially dangerous ingredients.

The change comes after a product liability case first introduced in another state. The makers of the popular Brazilian Blowout salon products have been ordered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as the FDA, to include the labels. Laboratory testing showed that the Brazilian Blowout brand was made up of high levels of the dangerous chemical formaldehyde.

The hair products included about 10 percent of the chemical, while government agencies consider anything over 0.1 percent to be hazardous. A formal letter was sent to the company in late 2011 by the FDA, including a list of health complaints resulting from product use.

The Brazilian Blowout system involves the application of chemicals to hair, followed by a blow-dry and flat iron procedure. The lawsuits alleged that the products release the hazardous chemicals when heated during the last two steps.

Concerns about the product were expressed as early as 2010, after a university identified its hazardous contents. That report came after a number of complaints were recorded in salons. Brazilian Blowout treatments can cost between $200 and $500, changing hair’s texture for several months.

According to the Miami Herald, potential health effects resulting from Brazilian Blowout use can include eye irritation and disorders, nervous system disorders such as fainting, and respiratory tract concerns such as difficulty breathing, nasal irritation and wheezing. Salon clients and workers have also reported vomiting, nausea, headache, and rash, among other ailments.

Source: Miami Herald, “Brazilian blowout hair treatment ruled carcinogenic,” John Platt, Feb. 6, 2012

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