US campaign group targets hair treatment
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has again drawn attention to the levels of formaldehyde in the ‘keratin smoothing formulations’ used for Brazilian Blowouts products.
In 2011, the FDA issued a warning letter to GIB, LCC – the company that makes Brazilian Blowout – stating that the product was misbranded due to its “formaldehyde-free” claims and was unsafe for sale in its current form.
The EWG claims that the FDA has taken no further action since, and alleges that products containing unsafe levels of formaldehyde are still on the market.
Using the Freedom of Information Act, the EWG has obtained FDA documents showing that “salon personnel and clients have filed numerous adverse event reports after hair straightening sessions, including massive hair loss, neck and face rashes, blistered scalps, nosebleeds, bleeding gums and loss of taste and smell”.
Part of the continued problem lies with the use of methylene glycol as well as formaldehyde. The UK’s CTPA explained: “Methylene glycol is the name of the chemical that is formed when formaldehyde dissolves in water. The SCCS has stated that the use of methylene glycol at more than 0.2% is not considered safe and that methylene glycol can be considered a ‘formaldehyde equivalent’.”
The EWG used “Brazilian Blowout Day” earlier this month as a platform to highlight the continued problem. In a statement published on its website, the campaign group said: “This situation needs to change. Congress should enact the Personal Care Products Safety Act to ensure that the FDA has the power to take these poisonous products off the market once and for all.”