Dangerous Beauty Part 2: Why you don’t want to be anywhere near the formaldehyde in a Brazilian Blowout

The formaldehyde in Brazilian Blowout products is dangerous for both stylists and their clients.

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

This is the second installment in our series on the dangers of hair-straightening products with formaldehyde.

For many of us, the word formaldehyde conjures up images of high school biology class, and glass jars full of preserved frogs. But for Molly Scrutton, a stylist from Portland, Oregan, it most likely calls to mind the sore throat and aching chest she felt after giving her clients the Brazilian Blowout hair treatment.

After investigating and learning that other stylists had suffered from similar symptoms, Scrutton reported it to local health officials. Since then, Brazilian Blowout has been found to contain over 10 times the amount of formaldehyde considered safe.

Turns out formaldehyde is pretty nasty stuff. Here’s why:

Formaldehyde does terrible things to the body.

Formaldehyde can irritate the eyes and nose, causing coughing and wheezing. It can cause allergic reactions of the skin, eyes and lungs, such as asthma-like breathing problems, skin rashes, and itching. Effects reported by users of formaldehyde-laced hair straightening products include eye disorders, nervous system disorders, respiratory tract problems, chest pain, vomiting and rash. If you have been exposed to a hair straightener and suffer from any of these symptoms, you should seek medical treatment immediately.

Sometimes the effects of formaldehyde exposure are irreversible or fatal.

When formaldehyde is sprayed into the eyes, it can cause blindness. It is also a known carcinogen, and has been linked to nose and lung cancer.

Formaldehyde is absorbed into the body quickly and easily

It is a colorless, strong-smelling gas that can be breathed into your lungs. It can irritate your eyes just by being in the air, as it did for the reporter in this ABC clip as she was getting her hair done. It can be absorbed into your skin, and even if you wear gloves while using a product, you can be exposed accidentally if you touch your face, eat food, or drink without first washing your hands.

It’s time Brazilian Blowout is removed from product shelves. If you’re a customer, tell your stylist that you don’t want to be near the stuff.

Unfortunately, Brazilian Blowout isn’t the only hair straightening product found to have formaldehyde in it. Check back in a few days for the next installment of Dangerous Beauty, to read about a few more of the hair straightening products that contain deadly formaldehyde, and the manufacturers who lie about it.

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.

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.
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