Despite being called out for high formaldehyde content and low safety by the Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), several states, a number of environmental and health organizations and even the cosmetics industry itself, Brazilian Blowouts will stay on the market following the settlement of a class-action lawsuit.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and may have other harmful health effects.
The makers of Brazilian Blowout, a hair-straightening treatment, had already settled with the California Attorney General for $600,000 by the time the class-action lawsuit from consumers and salon workers reached the judge. The settlement will improve the labeling of the treatment, and offer up to $100 per customer who claimed harm from using the product, as well as $75 per bottle sold to salons, a settlement that will cost the company (or, more accurately, its insurers) $4.5 million, according to the New York Times.
The settlement scandalized some advocates, who have called for the product to be banned. "This scandal is the perfect example of how cosmetic regulations are totally failing to protect public health, even in the case of obvious and proven dangers," said Stacy Malkan, of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
In the latest sign that Brazilian Blowouts, and related hair straightening products are not safe, the Food and Drug Administration has sent a letter to the makers of the Brazilian Blowout-brand products warning that the cosmetics are both "adulterated" and "misbranded." Why? Because they contain as much as 10% liquid formaldehyde (methylene glycol), a known carcinogen and toxic substance, but are labeled "formaldehyde free."
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