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Formaldehyde found in Brazilian Blowout products

Executive Summary

After receiving complaints from consumers, Oregon's Occupational Safety & Health Division and Canadian regulatory body Health Canada tested and determined products from California-based Brazilian Blowout contain high levels of formaldehyde. Using four different testing methods, Oregon OSHA found product samples to have formaldehyde levels between 4.85% and 10.6%, while Health Canada found samples with 12% formaldehyde. In its Oct. 5 release, Brazilian Blowout - marketer of a hair-smoothing treatment administered by salons - says its own testing shows trace formaldehyde levels of less than 0.002%, which is considered safe and "allows for use of the term 'formaldehyde-free.'" Health Canada received complaints of "burning eyes, nose and throat, breathing difficulties," it says, as well as one report of hair loss from use of Brazilian Blowout products. It issued an advisory Oct. 7 urging stylists to stop using Brazilian Blowout treatments and directing consumers to seek medical attention if they are exhibiting reactions. Brazilian Blowout maintains the level of formaldehyde is 10,000 times less than the 40 parts-per-million concentration limit set by California's Proposition 65. As the firm continues its investigation into the claims, "we are confident that all misinformation and inaccurate data will soon be dispelled," it says. FDA weighs in with a notice on its website Oct. 8, stating it has not received any official adverse event reports on Brazilian Blowout but is working with state and local organizations "to determine whether the products or ingredients would be likely to cause health problems under the intended conditions of use.
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