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Formaldehyde Dangers at the Local Hair Salon


EMSL Analytical provides formaldehyde and VOC testing services to ensure indoor environments are safe for workers and customers. 
Cinnaminson, NJ, February 7th, 2011
This week, The Miami Herald reported that the manufacturers of a popular Brazilian Blowout line of hair-straightening products have agreed to change the labeling on their products.  The changes will include a consumer warning that the use of the product can release formaldehyde gas.
The new labeling decision follows a lawsuit by the California State Attorney General’s office.  Both the FDA and OSHA issued alerts about the product in 2011.  The FDA warned that the product, which was labeled as formaldehyde-free, contained dangerous levels of the chemical. 
The FDA issued a warning letter to the manufacturer of the product in August that stated, “Brazilian Blowout contains methylene glycol, the liquid form of formaldehyde, which, under the conditions of use prescribed in the labeling, releases formaldehyde when hair treated with the product is heated with a blow dryer and then with a hot flat iron"
Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in numerous building materials and to produce some household products.  Its primary use is in the production of resins and as a chemical intermediate. It is also a by-product of combustion and certain other natural processes.
“The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as a potential human carcinogen,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, a leading formaldehyde testing laboratory.     “California’s Proposition 65 also lists formaldehyde due to cancer concerns.  It is important that both workers and customers at hair salons not be exposed to dangerous levels of this chemical.  Product testing can determine the presence of formaldehyde and air sampling can monitor for its presence and determine what levels are in the air,” he continued.
EMSL has sponsored a video about the hazards associated with formaldehyde in indoor environments.  It can be seen at:
For information about testing for formaldehyde or other indoor air quality (IAQ) testing services please visit, email or call (800) 220-3675.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of quality environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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