Lewes, DE, April 18th, 2011 -- Few people who visit a beauty salon realize they may be putting their health at risk. The Brazilian Blowout, the name given to a controversial hair straightening procedure, has come under the scrutiny of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The reason for the concern is the presence of formaldehyde in many of the products used in the procedure. According to an article last week in the Los Angeles Times, “State OSHA offices in California and Oregon began investigating the Brazilian Blowout and other hair smoothing products several months ago after a host of complaints from salon workers and clients reporting headaches, nosebleeds, blisters, burning eyes, vomiting, asthma attacks and other respiratory problems. Several state-level agencies -- including those in California, Oregon and Connecticut -- issued warnings about the products. Health Canada issued an outright ban.”
Formaldehyde is widely used in many consumer products and common building materials. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen. According to OSHA, some of the chemicals being used, including some labeled as ‘formaldehyde free’ actually contain the chemical at levels above federal limits.
Sussex Environmental Health Consultants, LLC (SEHC) is an environmental, health and safety consulting firm located in Delaware that has an extensive history of investigating indoor air quality (IAQ) issues involving formaldehyde across the Mid-Atlantic region. “Both workers and the general public need to be aware of the health risks associated with prolonged or elevated exposure to formaldehyde,” stated Susan White, Ph.D., CMC, President of SEHC. “In the case of the Brazilian Blowout products, beauty salons using these chemicals should have the products evaluated, increase ventilation for the salons, provide personal protective equipment for employees and conduct routine exposure monitoring. Failure to do this could result in temporary or even permanent health problems,” she continued.
About Sussex Environmental Health Consultants, LLC
SEHC is a certified woman owned business that provides environmental and health and safety consulting services. The company is located in the Mid-Atlantic and services clients nationwide. SEHC provides solutions to clients ranging from homeowners to international Fortune 500 corporations.