Brazilian Blowout™, the popular keratin hair treatment brand that claims to be formaldehyde-free, has been under fire lately with the Oregon division of OSHA claiming they tested the formula to contain 10% formaldehyde. Here is the latest in official statements from Brazilian Blowout™:
The Oregon division of OSHA’s (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recent claims that samples of the Brazilian Blowout Professional Smoothing Solution contained between 4.85% and 10.6% Formaldehyde has been proven to be incorrect.
Doug Schoon, a leading scientist and expert who works with state, federal and international regulators to develop beauty industry related standards and regulations with regards to ingredient safety, consumer testing and cosmetics registrations/regulations, says that the test methods used by Oregon OSHA do not properly measure Formaldehyde in water based cosmetic products. The tests conducted by OSHA actually measured a completely different substance called “Methylene Glycol,” and incorrectly referred to this substance as “Formaldehyde.” Methylene Glycol is the key functioning ingredient used in most professional hair smoothing treatments currently on the market.
Schoon reports the following:
It is important to understand that Formaldehyde is not a cosmetic ingredient and never has been; it is a gas that cannot be added to cosmetics, and only exists in tiny trace amounts. Misunderstanding the nature of Formaldehyde has led to the incorrect belief that 37% Methylene Glycol is the same as 37% Formaldehyde, when in fact, 37% Methylene Glycol contains only trace amounts of Formaldehyde; less than 0.05% to be precise.
Flaws in the testing methods used by Oregon’s division of OSHA actually cause the creation of additional Formaldehyde that is not normally found in the product, which led to Oregon OSHA erroneously reporting levels of Formaldehyde that cannot possibly exist in the product, especially given that Formaldehyde is a gas. Once again, what OSHA is actually reporting, is the amount of Methylene Glycol in the product, not Formaldehyde.
The only method that accurately measures Formaldehyde in water based cosmetic products is called “13C-NMR,” and OSHA did not conduct this particular type of testing. Had OSHA performed this test, they would have discovered that only tiny traces of Formaldehyde are detectable in these products, usually well below 0.0045%.
When heated to very high temperatures, Methylene Glycol can release small amounts of Formaldehyde gas into the air. Research that I have performed on Methylene Glycol containing hair smoothing and straightening products has shown, however, that as long as these types of products are used properly, and in well-ventilated areas, both Cosmetologists and their client’s exposure to the Formaldehyde gas are well below the safe levels established by OSHA.
Many of you are voting that you believe Brazilian Blowout™ does contain formaldehyde based on information you hear in the news and online. Does this statement change your mind?
Check the Brazilian Blowout™ website for all of their official statements.
Follow the testing done by Oregon OSHA on OSHU.edu.
UPDATE 10-6-10: OSHA responds to Brazilian Blowout: Oregon OSHA advises continued caution by salon workers