The Brazilian Blowout, the costly, frizz-free hair treatment favored by celebs including Jennifer Aniston, is under scrutiny by government officials for its high levels of toxic chemicals. The hair-smoothing solution is found to contain up to 12 percent formaldehyde.
After receiving complaints from customers and stylists about burning eyes, nose, and throat, breathing difficulties, and one report of hair loss associated with use of the product, the government agency Health Canada conducted tests on the solution, finding as much as 12 percent formaldehyde inside. The agency issued a news release on the dangers of the product on October 7.
Formaldehyde is permitted in cosmetics at less than 0.2% when used as a preservative. Formaldehyde is a known irritant and sensitizer and is linked to cancer when inhaled chronically over a long period of time.
In the US, the Oregon Health and Science University's Center for Research on Occupational and Environment Toxicology (Oregon OSHA) also published a news release on October 8 warning salon workers to use caution when using the product, with some salons following suit by wearing masks and informing clients of the risks.
To read tips on ingredients to avoid in your beauty treatments and cosmetics: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/08/beyond-parabens.php
To read the Health Canada report: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/_2010/2010_167-eng.php
Download the Oregon OSHA reports: http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/research/centers-institutes/croet/emerging-issues-and-alerts.cfm