Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Concerns About Formaldehyde & Brazilian Blowout Hair Product

Oct 18: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its product information website regarding "Complaints Associated With the Use of Brazilian Blowout." FDA indicates that it has recently received a number of inquiries from consumers and salon professionals concerning the safety of "Brazilian Blowout" and similar "professional use only" hair care products. FDA says it will continue to monitor this problem and will report on any new developments.
    FDA indicates that it has been notified by some state and local organizations of reports from salons about problems associated with the use of Brazilian Blowout, a product used to straighten hair. Complaints include eye irritation, breathing problems, and headaches. State and local organizations with authority over the operation of salons are currently investigating these reports. FDA has recently received some adverse event reports on Brazilian Blowout from salon personnel or consumers. These reports included symptoms similar to those in the reports received by state and local organizations, as well as symptoms such as rashes and fainting.."
    FDA said it "is working with state and local organizations, as well as OSHA, to determine whether the products or ingredients would be likely to cause health problems under the intended conditions of use. The composition of the products and the labeling, including use instructions and any warning statements, will be factors in this determination. One safety issue we'll be evaluating is whether formaldehyde may be released into the air after the product is applied to the hair and heated."
    The American Chemistry Council's (ACC's) Senior Director, Ann Mason issued a statement saying, "As the manufacturers of formaldehyde, our members take their role as product stewards very seriously. We believe that the producers and users of formaldehyde and other chemicals should follow federal and state regulations, which set limits for the safe and appropriate use of chemicals. Media reports indicate that there are high levels of formaldehyde in the Brazilian Blowout. We encourage the company that makes the Brazilian Blowout to cooperate fully with government officials to ensure that the product meets federal and state standards for formaldehyde use. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), a national scientific organization that is sanctioned by the FDA to review and assess the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics, classifies formaldehyde in beauty products as 'safe' as long as the substance is no greater than 0.2 percent as free formaldehyde, kept to a minimum, and is not aerosolized. CIR's standards should inform any effort to measure the safety of the Brazilian Blowout and related products."
    The Brazilian Blowout website indicates it is, "The ONLY Professional Smoothing Treatment that improves the health of the hair. No Damage! and No harsh chemicals! CONTAINS NO FORMALDEHYDE!!" However, NPR reports that the Oregon Health & Science University's Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology tested samples of Brazilian Blowout from a Portland salon and found formaldehyde levels between 8.85 percent and 10.6 percent -- far higher than the 0.2 percent considered safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel.
    Access the FDA website (click here). Access the ACC release and link to additional information (click here). Access a report and links on the NPR website (click here). Access the Brazilian Blowout website (click here).