Dangerous Beauty: FDA says Brazilian Blowout lied about the deadly formaldehyde in their product

Today’s post comes to us from our colleague Charlie Domer of Wisconsin.

It all started a little over a year ago, when an Oregon hair stylist reported difficulty breathing, nosebleeds, and eye irritation after using the popular Brazilian Blowout hair-straightening product on her customers. Based on her referral, Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Division, and eventually the national Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) began testing hundreds of hair straightening products. They found formaldehyde, an irritating and carcinogenic substance, in many of them. In particular, the product called Brazilian Blowout, which is falsely labeled as formaldehyde-free, was found to contain dangerous amounts of the substance.

They found formaldehyde, an irritating and carcinogenic substance, in many of the products.

Well, now the FDA has also issued a warning letter to the makers of Brazilian Blowout saying that the levels of formaldehyde in their product are extremely high. In the FDA’s tests, levels of formaldehyde in samples ranged from 8.7% to 10.4 %, more than 10 times higher than the 0.2% that is considered safe. Brazilian Blowout’s chief executive Mike Brady says he will work with the FDA, but maintains that levels of formaldehyde in their product are safe. He says 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.” This however, would clearly not be the first time Brazilian Blowout has lied. Brazilian Blowout also now offers a product called Zero which supposedly contains no harmful chemicals. However, let’s not forget that their Original formulation was supposed to be formaldehyde free, and isn’t. Bottom line: This has been going on long enough. It’s time to take Brazilian Blowout, and similar dangerous styling products, off the market. For more on this topic, keep checking our blog in the days to come. Also check out this report by ABC News to see some of the techniques New York salons are using to protect their clients and stylists from Brazilian Blowout’s formaldehyde-laced fumes. Of course, as the report says, some salons have smartly stopped using it altogether.

Charlie Domer practices as part of the father-son duo team of Domer Law in Wisconsin. Charlie’s work representing injured workers has earned him recognition in 2008, 2009 and 2010 on the Rising Stars list in Wisconsin Super Lawyers. He is also a prolific writer and co-authored West’s treatise on Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Law together with his father Thomas Domer. Together, Thomas and Charlie Domer work tirelessly to represent and protect the rights of Wisconsin’s injured workers.

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