Formaldehyde in Hair Smoothing Products: Let’s put it to bed

A warning letter was just released from the Food and Drug Administration to the makers of the Brazilian Blowout smoothing solution. The issue of stylists being unknowingly exposed to formaldehyde has been on our radar for 13 months now. And while some of you may have thought the issue had been resolved, only last week CROET received another inquiry from someone who just recently concluded that her good friend’s significant health issues were related to using this product.

Federal OSHA April 2011 Hazard Alert

Our mission at CROET is to promote health and prevent disease and disability among working Oregonians and their families. It was just over a year ago that we responded to a call about adverse health effects experienced by stylists in an Oregon salon. We were lucky to partner with Oregon OSHA to better understand the exposure. And in the meantime, stylists from all over the United States and Canada were quick to contact us, many who had similar health symptoms and were looking for answers.

As it turns out, this product has been determined by the FDA to be adulterated – meaning containing injurious substances – and misbranded – by containing misleading statements about its contents. We know that lawsuits are pending, and will likely carry on for some time. But now, perhaps, stylists still using the product will finally recognize what the smoothing solution contains, and the importance of preventing exposure. Important discussions are taking place about what ingredients should really be in cosmetics and personal care products. And perhaps, though we didn’t always appreciate the sensationalism in the coverage of this issue, it did create conversation and recognition among the broader public about the importance of health protection at work for all workers.

If you somehow missed this story and want to know more, visit CROET’s Emerging Issues webpage. Read more on

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  1. to promote health and prevent disease and disability nice initiative introduced.thanks

  2. Thank you for posting this

  3. It is great to see that the harm of this hair smoothing product is getting exposure. This will definitely help to prevent a large number of health risks and problems. We provide quality healthcare products so we know the importance of health protection.

About the Author

Dede supports the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences and the Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center's research, engagement and education programs. She is a certified industrial hygienist.

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