Green Buckeye RN

OSHA QuickTakes: OSHA Updates Hazard Alert On Formaldehyde Dangers To Hair Salon Owners And Workers
October 5, 2011, 10:36 am
Filed under: News

OSHA issued a revised hazard alert to hair salon owners and workers about potential formaldehyde exposure from working with certain hair smoothing and straightening products. Formaldehyde can irritate the eyes and nose; cause allergic reactions of the skin, eyes and lungs; and is a cancer hazard. The revised alert was prompted by the results of agency investigations, a warning letter issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and incorrect information recently sent to salons by a company that manufactures hair products. The revised hazard alert notifies salons that if they use products that contain or release formaldehyde (like timonacic acid), they must follow the requirements in OSHA’s formaldehyde standard. The alert also includes a list of other names for formaldehyde (e.g. methylene glycol, formalin, and methanal) and details about required information to be listed on product labels and material safety data sheets of products that contain or could release formaldehyde.
During recent investigations, OSHA’s air tests showed that workers were exposed to formaldehyde above OSHA’s limits in salons using Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution and Brasil Cacau Cadiveu, resulting in citations for multiple violations. The FDA issued a warning letter Aug. 22 to the importer and distributer of Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution stating that the product is adulterated and misbranded. Although the solution contains methylene glycol, which can release formaldehyde during the normal conditions of use, the product is labeled “formaldehyde free” or “no formaldehyde” and does not list formaldehyde on the material safety data sheet. Following an Aug. 24 letter sent by Brazilian Blowout to salon owners claiming that all OSHA air tests on its product yielded results below OSHA’s standard for exposure, the agency sent a letter* Sept. 22 to the company refuting that assertion.

Revised hazard alert at


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