Chemical hair straightener found to be toxic by FDA

In Health & Lifestyles on September 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm

By: Kristen Hegel

            When it comes to hair, some people go to the extremes in order to get the style they desire, but one hair straightener may be putting the user’s health at risk. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has sent out an official notice stating that Brazilian Blowout’s hair straightening product contains a dangerous chemical.

A warning has been issued for Brazilian Blowout hair products after the FDA found high amounts of formaldehyde in the hair straightening brand. Photo courtesy of Google images

             The dangerous chemical, known as formaldehyde, is a cancer-causing chemical recognized by the National Cancer Institute. In the FDA’s analysis of the product, the liquid form of formaldehyde was found at a content of 52 times the percentage considered safe. “It is your responsibility as a manufacturer, to ensure that the products your firm markets are safe,” Michael W. Roosevelt, director of the Office of Compliance for the FDA, said.

            Brazilian Blowout markets its product as formaldehyde-free and claims that the whole situation is a misunderstanding. “We have been tested countless times by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and we have never exceeded a safety standard ever,” Mike Brady, Chief Executive of Brazilian Blowout, stated. “[Salons can] continue to confidently offer the Brazilian Blowout Treatment to your customers with the knowledge that Brazilian Blowout falls well below the stringent standards set forth by OSHA.”

            The FDA’s investigation into Brazilian Blowout’s hair straightening product began after a hair-stylist formOregoncomplained of chest and throat pains and nosebleeds after using the product in her hair. Another woman, Helen Brown, fromAustralia, believes her cancer diagnosis traces back to her use of the hair product.  A little over a year after getting her hair done with Brazilian Blowout at a salon, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I haven’t got any family history of cancer or anything, so you have to wonder,” Brown said. Initially after having the hair treatment, her hair began falling out. “When I washed my hair, it was all over my shoulders, and clogging up the drain. I was losing about four times the hair I would usually lose,” she said. Although the hair straightener is still available on the market in the US, it has been recalled in Australia.  

            Fort Mill High sophomore, Raven Roscoe, stated in an interview that she wouldn’t use a product that contained harmful chemicals. “I wouldn’t use Brazilian Blowout. I would go get a texturizer and change my perm,” Roscoe said.

            Consumers of the product are being urged to contact their doctors and report the products to manufacturers if they experience any unusual symptoms after using a hair straightening product. Brazilian Blowout may not be the only unsafe chemical hair straightener on the market, so be cautious of what hair products you’re using in your hair and what toxins they may contain. No hairstyle is as important as good health.


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