Brazilian Blowout Admits Product Contains Carcinogen

The safety of the hair straightening product Brazilian Blowout has been fairly controversial. Many organizations have been claiming for some time that it contains dangerously high levels of a known carcinogen. And now it seems Brazilian blowout has been forced to admit that's true.

In November 2010, California’s Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Brazilian Blowout. It claimed that there were high levels of formaldehyde in their hair straightening product used in many Houston salons. 

Brazilian Blowout backBrazilian Blowout denied this. 

Now after a court ruling, they’re rowing back on that statement. The company will be forced to pay $600,000 in fines for failing to notify customers and salons that their products contain toxic chemicals that may cause cancer.

Stacey Malkan with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics says while this is a start it isn’t enough.

"It’s a situation of people are making money off this product and we don’t have strong enough laws to really get it off the shelves. We’re allowing products sold in the U.S. to contain unlimited amounts of formaldehyde which is a known human carcinogen and other countries don’t allow that."

The FDA has the power to remove this product. Back in August of 2011, they sent a letter threatening to do exactly that after discovering it had been misbranded as formaldehyde-free.


The following is a statement that Brazilian Blowout issued in response to the recent settlement with the California Attorney General.

“We believe the settlement reached with Attorney General Harris represents a fair and equitable resolution. Brazilian Blowout will continue to sell its products normally throughout the state of California. The labeling and marketing and advertising changes agreed to in the settlement have already been in place for months. We are pleased to have this matter behind us and are confident these new practices will provide certified stylists who use our products each day and their loyal customers clarity and confidence.”


 

However, no other statement or action has come from the FDA since then.

With this latest ruling, Malkan hopes the FDA will carry out its’ threat.

For now though, changes will be made to products in Houston salons and on Brazilian Blowouts’ website admitting their products contains formaldehyde.

Bio photo of Edel Howlin

Edel Howlin

Producer, Houston Matters

Edel is a producer on Houston Matters and reporter for PBS’s Newshour Weekend...