Community Local

The potential danger of great hair? Brazilian Blowout's Toxic Secret

In this day and age, changing your appearance comes easily, but does it come at a price? Recent rumors about the newly popular keratin hair treatment Brazilian Blowout, claim that the product is hazardous to your health, whether you are receiving or applying the treatment.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a hazard alert based on the evaluation they conducted on various types of these hair treatments. What they found: formaldehyde. The alert includes information about OSHA’s investigation, how salon employees can protect themselves from the hair products, and the dangers of formaldehyde. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also issue a warning letter to the importers of Brazilian Blowout, because the product is considered misbranded, as the label states “Formaldehyde Free.” Although it contains methylene glycol (a chemical that releases formaldehyde during the standard hair treatment process.)
So what is formaldehyde? You have probably heard the term formaldehyde many times for the fact that it is contained in many products we use everyday. Formaldehyde is used to manufacture building materials and numerous household products. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Formaldehyde can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, nausea, and difficulty in breathing in some humans exposed at elevated levels. High concentrations may trigger attacks in people with asthma. There is evidence that some people can develop sensitivity to formaldehyde. It has also been shown to cause cancer in animals and may cause cancer in humans.  Health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation, wheezing, coughing, fatigue, skin rash and severe allergic reactions.”
A list of products available on the Household Products Database catalog products that contain these toxins including: school glue, laundry detergent, hand and body wash, and pet products. You are probably also familiar with formaldehyde if you have ever picked up a cigarette.
The reason there is a concern for these products, even though the same chemicals are present in other body products is that when tested, the levels of formaldehyde in the air were higher than OSHA’s limits for salons. Other products tested included Brasil Cacau Cadiveu, Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy (Natural Keratin Smoothing Treatment, Express Blow Out, Natural Keratin Smoothing Treatment Blonde), and Marcia Teixeira (Advanced Brazilian Keratin Treatment, Extreme De-Frizzing Treatment. Many of the products labels claimed there were either no harmful chemicals, or did not contain information about the chemicals at all.
Although OSHA’s hazard alert seems like a cause for alarm, these alerts create no legal obligations and therefore, will not take these products off the market… yet. Regardless of the alleged risks involved in using these products, the results many women get from the treatments, in their opinion, outweigh a few hours of burning eyes.
Please check back next week for a video, where I will break down the actual process of the treatment and the product’s after effects.