Harmful exposures salon workers experience in the workplace as a result of toxic formaldehyde in hair straightening products is an issue that the FDA needs to address immediately.
There are currently around 10,000 ingredients used in cosmetics. Yet, the 84 billion dollar cosmetic and personal care industry is not required to meet any sort of safety standard for ingredients.
Unlike consumers, who can look at ingredient labels on their store-bought cosmetics, professional hair and nail salon workers don’t benefit from the same disclosure. Until now...
In a major victory for worker and consumer right to know, Governor Brown signed into law a ground-breaking bill that requires manufacturers to disclose ingredients on the labels of professional cosmetics. Until now, only retail cosmetics manufacturers were required to list product ingredients. This same transparency was not required of professional cosmetics, even if products contained ingredients linked to severe health concerns like cancer, birth defects, and respiratory issues. Introduced by Assembly Member Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), AB 2775 is the first such law to take effect in the nation.
The Food and Drug Administration has failed to act on dangerous hair straighteners that contain unsafe levels of formaldehyde and pose a significant health hazard to consumers and salon workers, the Environmental Working Group and Women’s Voices for the Earth allege in a motion filed July 28 in federal district court. The motion is part of the groups' lawsuit against the FDA for its failure to act on a six-year-old petition requesting an investigation into popular hair smoothing treatments that are still sold in stores and salons. These straighteners – often known as keratin treatments or by the name of one prominent brand, Brazilian Blowout – contain formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen and potent allergen.
Even if you are not a regular salon-goer yourself, this first-of-its-kind legislation has the power to drastically improve the health, and human rights of salon workers in California, and eventually, hopefully, throughout the nation.