Salon-goers beware: popular hair product Brazilian Blowout and cancer risks may be linked.
Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution, popular in salons for hair smoothing treatments, contains a liquid called methylene glycol. When heated with a blow dryer or a flat iron, the liquid could create a large amount of dangerous formaldehyde vapors, CBS News reports.
Formaldehyde vapors are carcinogenic. Short-term exposure to formaldehyde can cause watery eyes, burning sensation in the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, wheezing, nausea and skin irritation.
Long-term exposure could lead to more serious health risks. Several different expert agencies and organizations have determined that formaldehyde is possibly carcinogenic towards humans, according to the American Cancer Society.
And, Brazilian Blowout contains large levels of this potentially dangerous vapor. The government requires an occupational hazard alert if formaldehyde levels are at 0.1% or higher. Use of Brazilian Blowout products can create formaldehyde levels of 8.7-10.4%, according to CBS News.
The FDA gave the company 15 days to address these health risks. If the company does not respond, the FDA has threatened to seize the products or seek an injunction against them, reports CBS News.
The FDA also slammed the product for being misleading. The labels say that the product is "Formaldehyde Free," and does not contain any information about how formaldehyde vapors are created when the product is heated, CBS News reports.
Consumers worried about the link between Brazilian Blowout and cancer risks might want to stay away from getting a smoothing treatment at the salon. And, Brazilian Blowout may not be the only dangerous salon product out there. The Environmental Working Group conducted its own investigation into various products and found that at least 16 salon products contained high levels of formaldehyde.