NEW: We have an update from Brazilian Blowout regarding testing done by Health Science Associates (HSA), a Certified Small Business Enterprise who routinely performs indoor air quality (IAQ) investigations and ventilation system evaluations for clients.
EXPOSURE LEVELS TO COSMETOLOGISTS AND CLIENTS CONSIDERED SAFE!
FORMALDEHYDE GAS LEVELS ARE WELL BELOW OSHA’S PERMISSIBLE EXPOSURE LIMITS (PEL)
Independent salon air monitoring performed by one of California’s leading environmental safety companies, Health Science Associates (HSA), has concluded that Cosmetologists exposure levels are more than SIX times lower than OSHA’s most stringent and conservative standard for air quality safety.
On October 9, 2010, HSA performed a comprehensive Air Monitoring Study over an eight-hour period in a typical salon environment, while Cosmetologists performed multiple Brazilian Blowout professional smoothing treatments throughout the day. The table below details the results of their scientific testing.
Test Summary: The breathing air (breathing zone) of two licensed Cosmetologists was monitored while each performed two Brazilian Blowout Professional Smoothing Treatments in the same test salon, over the same eight-hour period. Their separate exposures to Formaldehyde gas in the air was determined to be 0.064 ppm and 0.073 ppm, which is well below OSHA’s most stringent requirements for an eight-hour period, called the eight-hour time weighted average (TWA).
What does this mean? The safest and most stringent level of exposure set by Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is called the OSHA Action Limit and is even more conservative than their “Permissible Exposure Limit” (PEL).
The OSHA Action limit is 0.5 ppm, therefore, these two Cosmetologist’s exposures were more than six times below OSHA’s most conservative measure for safety where the potential for formaldehyde gas exposure is concerned.
Conclusion: These levels indicate that OSHA safe levels of exposure are NOT exceeded.
We have sent an email to Michael Woods of the Oregon division of OSHA and hope to have an official OSHA statement soon.
A few words from Jordana Lorraine regarding this news release:
There is still the question of why some people have reported problematic reactions during or after performing or receiving Brazilian Blowouts. Could they be reacting to a different ingredient? Perhaps. Listing the ingredients would help both stylists and clients know in advance if they are likely to have a reaction.
Then there is proper usage and environment. These tests were presumably done by experienced stylists, using the recommended amount of product, in the ideal environment. Not all salons have great air filtration systems, but they do have options to provide better ventilation and protection! Check out mine from Aerovex Systems at www.SaferBrazilian.com.
Brazilian Blowout teaches stylists how much product to use, even in their video training and on the bottle, but in my observation, it is very common for stylists to use too much. They may think they’re doing you a favor, but they’re not; and they’re not doing themselves any favors, either! Using excess product that cannot be absorbed will of course produce excess fumes. It is also very important that the product is not applied to the scalp, which unfortunately is a mistake that has been reported as well. Overuse or improper use of many common salon chemicals (bleach, perm) can lead to a long list of problems.
The company also cannot come to each salon and evaluate their space and ventilation, but they could give more specific guidelines. No one should be doing this in a closet-sized room in the back of a beauty supply, or in an environment with no air flow. We’ll see what is to come.
It is always a good idea to research a few stylists before choosing to have the treatment done. Ask about their training, experience, how often they perform the service, and how their salon is set up to accommodate any fumes produced during the treatment. For more on choosing a stylist, see this post: You Want a Keratin Treatment. But How Do You Choose a Stylist?