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The FDA has issued a letter about Brazilian Blowout's formaldehyde levels to the salon product's parent company. The FDA alleges that Brazilian Blowouts are unsafe to customers and salon workers.
A "Brazilian Blowout" is a hair-straightening treatment much-loved by regular consumers and Hollywood powerhouses. Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry and Nicole Richie are amongst the stars who have received the treatment. It can help tame and straighten curly or frizzy hair.
But, it seems that the popular salon treatment comes at a high cost. Financially, the treatment can be upwards of $200 to $500 per treatment, Fox News reports. Health-wise, Brazilian Blowouts can create dangerous levels of formaldehyde, according to CBS News.
Formaldehyde can be carcinogenic. Long-term exposure to formaldehyde can result in increased risk in leukemia, lymphoma, and brain cancer, reports CBS News.
Federal regulations require an occupational hazard alert if formaldehyde levels are at 0.1%. Brazilian Blowout products have formaldehyde levels of 8.7-10.4%, CBS News reports.
The popular product contains a liquid substance known as methylene glycol. When heated, such as by a blow dryer or a flat iron, the liquid vaporizes into formaldehyde, according to CBS News.
The FDA's letter to Brazilian Blowout demands that the company respond to the health concerns by September 12th. The FDA has also threatened an injunction and seizure of the products if the company fails to respond, reports CBS News.
Could there be a case of products liability for injuries caused by formaldehyde vapors? There could be, especially if the company is found to have inadequately warned consumers and salon workers. The FDA says the company's advertisements that the Brazilian Blowout products are "Formaldehyde Free" are also misleading.
If Brazilian Blowout's formaldehyde levels are so high, why are they even on the market? It's because the FDA has "little authority to take immediate meaningful action in the case of cosmetics," said Anuja Mendiratta of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative to CBS News. Consumers worried that Brazilian Blowouts are unsafe should likely steer clear of these salon treatments for now.