January 30, 2012
Last year women’s magazines and pop culture blogs were afire with the news that the popular Brazilian Blowout–an expensive salon treatment that promises to smooth and straighten hair for up to six months–released formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Hair Scare! Brazilian Bombshell! It was a story made for clever headlines and consumer backlash.
Not only was the treatment exposing women to carcinogens, the products used in the Brazilian Blowout treatment were actually labeled “formaldehyde free,” when they clearly weren’t. Moreover, in the midst of the media blitz, the U.S. federal government’s National Toxicology Program officially added formaldehyde to its list of substances known to cause cancer, and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared that one product, Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution, contains “unacceptable” levels of formaldehyde.