Archives for posts with tag: FDA

From livingecho:

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) Staff Scientist Sarah Janssen is interviewed by Ken Spector of LivingECHO.com about BPA (Bisphenol A) in plastics. – Warning – linked to asthma, cancer – Part 1 is above, and Part 2, below.

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MSCNBC.com: Frizz or formaldehyde? Trendy ‘do poses a hairy dilemma

“Suffer for beauty” has been taken to a whole new level with recent controversy surrounding a trendy hair treatment called the Brazilian Blowout.

The product, used in pricey salons, turns frizzy, unmanageable locks into the luxurious pin-straight looks made popular by celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow.

The catch? Tests conducted by the state of Oregon earlier this month determined that the product contains unsafe levels of formaldehyde — as in, embalming fluid — a known carcinogen.

But that’s not deterring some from the pursuit of fabulous wash-and-wear locks.

“Chemicals are a way of life now,” says Stefeny Anderson, a 36-year-old event planner from Renton, Wash., who got her first Brazilian Blowout two weeks ago in an effort to tame “corkscrew curls” that frizz at the slightest hint of rain (a given in Washington state). “It’s not like you’re putting it in your hair every day.”

Introduced at salons a few years ago, the Brazilian Blowout costs about $250. But after the two-hour treatment — which involves coating the hair with the chemical, then flat-ironing it — coarse, kinky hair becomes soft, smooth and straight for two to three months. Sort of an anti-perm, the Brazilian Blowout has been touted as more effective and less time-consuming than other hair-straightening methods such as conventional relaxers, Japanese thermal processing or other keratin-based treatments (there are several available), although concerns have been raised about the product’s possible formaldehyde content in the past, when Allure magazine did an exposé.

These concerns soon dissipated, though, once the company reformulated the products and began distributing bottles labeled “formaldehyde-free.”

Formaldehyde-and-seek
Earlier this month, though, Oregon Health & Science University issued two public alerts after tests performed by the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found up to 10.6 percent formaldehyde in the product (.2 percent formaldehyde is considered safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel).

Brazilian Blowout disputes the finding. “We have no formaldehyde in our formula,” spokesperson Dana Supnick said.

In other tests a couple of weeks ago, Canada’s health department found up to 12 percent formaldehyde and warned people to stop using it, citing consumer complaints of “burning eyes, nose, and throat, breathing difficulties, and one report of hair loss associated with use of the product.”

According to the National Cancer Institute, formaldehyde has been classified as a known human carcinogen with research suggesting an association between formaldehyde exposure in workers and several cancers including nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia. Short-term exposure is no picnic, either; adverse effects include watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, wheezing, nausea and skin irritation.

Health complaints from stylists who’ve performed the Brazilian Blowout on clients have prompted at least one class action lawsuit against the manufacturer. The FDA has also announced it’s received “a number of inquiries from consumers and salon professionals concerning the safety of this product” and are currently looking into the issue.

More.


More from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

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