Tag: keratin

Marcia Teixeira -Copomon Enterprises – Pro Skin Solutions Inc – OSHA News Release

A Wonderful Bunch of Bastards in My Industry!

US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites Florida manufacturers and
distributors of hair products containing formaldehyde for health violations
Companies failed to protect workers, warn product users of hazards

ATLANTA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited two Florida manufacturers and two Florida-based distributors of hair products containing formaldehyde for 16 health violations involving alleged failures to protect their employees from possible formaldehyde exposure and to communicate with the products’ users, such as salons and stylists, about the hazards of formaldehyde exposure. Proposed penalties for the companies total $49,200.

“Employers are responsible for identifying the risks associated with producing and using these hair products, as well as for taking appropriate measures to ensure that they protect their own employees and other workers who may be using their products, such as stylists, from any potential hazards,” said Cindy Coe, OSHA’s regional administrator in Atlanta.

OSHA’s inspections were initiated based on a referral by Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Division, which tested more than 100 product samples at 50 salons using hair smoothing or straightening products. Some products causing formaldehyde exposure were traced back to the Florida manufacturers and distributors. Formaldehyde can irritate the eyes and nose, and cause coughing and wheezing. It is a sensitizer, which means that it can cause allergic reactions of the lungs, skin and eyes, such as asthma, rashes and itching. It also has been linked to cancer.

Both M&M International Inc. in Delray Beach, a distributor of the straightening hair product “Marcia Teixeira,” and Copomon Enterprises in Boca Raton, a distributor of the keratin-based hair product “Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy,” have been cited for three serious violations and fined $12,600 each for failing to ensure that material safety data sheets reflected the content of formaldehyde in the products or the hazards associated with formaldehyde exposure, as well as for failing to develop a written hazard communication program for their own employees. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Pro Skin Solutions Inc. in Orlando, a manufacturer of keratin-based products used for hair straightening, has been cited for five serious violations with penalties of $15,000. Violations include failing to establish a written respiratory protection plan, provide an emergency eyewash station, develop appropriate procedures to protect employees in the event of an emergency and develop or implement a written hazard communication program. The company also failed to address formaldehyde exposure and inhalation hazards, including possible cancer-causing effects, on material safety data sheets for the formaldehyde-containing products.

Additionally, Pro Skin Solutions has been cited for two other-than-serious violations with no monetary penalties for failing to maintain air sampling records and provide written procedures for evaluating chemical hazards. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

Keratronics Inc. in Coral Springs, a manufacturer of keratin-based products used for hair straightening, has been cited for three serious violations with penalties of $9,000 for failing to provide an eyewash station for employees using corrosive products, evaluate the hazards of keratin-based products for development of the material safety data sheets, and develop or maintain a written hazard communication program on handling chemicals such as timonacic acid, formalin, acetic acid and hydrolyzed keratin.

All manufacturers, importers and distributers are required by OSHA standards to identify formaldehyde on any product that contains more than 0.1 percent formaldehyde, either as a gas or in a solution that can release formaldehyde at concentrations greater than 0.1 part per million. The material safety data sheet that comes with the product also must include this information, as well as explain why the chemical is hazardous, what harm it can cause, what protective measures should be taken and what to do in an emergency. The sheets are used by employers to determine products’ potential health hazards and methods to prevent worker exposure.

Federal OSHA issued a hazard alert earlier this year to hair salon owners and employees about potential formaldehyde exposure resulting from working with some hair smoothing and straightening products. It can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/formaldehyde/hazard_alert.html.

In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning letter to GIB LLC in North Hollywood, Calif., doing business as Brazilian Blowout, concerning misbranding relating to formaldehyde. That letter is available at http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm270809.htm.

Keratronics, M&M International and Copomon Enterprises were inspected by OSHA’s Fort Lauderdale Area Office, 1000 S. Pine Island Road, Suite 100, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33324; telephone 954-424-0242. Pro Skin Solutions was inspected by OSHA’s Tampa Area Office, located at 5807 Breckenridge Parkway, Suite A, Tampa, Fla. 33610; telephone 813-626-1177. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

 

Brazilian Blowout Gets Blowback From the FDA, Do You Think The So Called Beauty Industry Cares?

Five months ago, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a hazard alert about Brazilian Blowout and similar hair smoothing and straightening products, warning that hair salon workers and clients could potentially be exposed to formaldehyde by using them.

Now the FDA has sent a warning letter to the makers of Brazilian Blowout confirming that the product is “adulterated” with the liquid form of formaldehyde, “which, under the conditions of use prescribed in the labeling,” releases dangerous levels of the chemical — a known carcinogen — into the air to be inhaled.

The FDA letter also said that Brazilian Blowout is “misbranded” because the product’s label falsely declares it to contain “No Formaldehyde” or that it is “Formaldehyde Free.

The company has until mid-Sept. to address the violations cited by the FDA or risk having its product seized. “It is your responsibility as a manufacturer to ensure that the products your firm markets are safe,” wrote Michael W. Roosevelt, acting director of the Office of Compliance at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, in the warning letter to Brazilian Blowout CEO Mike Brady.

Salon workers and customers using the hair-straightening solutions have suffered side effects like eye and throat irritation, headache, dizziness, burning sensations, breathing problems, nosebleeds, chest pain, vomiting and rash, according to the FDA. Formaldehyde is released when hair treated with Brazilian Blowout is heated with a blow dryer and then with a hot flat iron, as the product’s labeling recommends.

The FDA’s analysis found that Brazilian Blowout contains 8.7% to 10.4% formaldehyde, which puts it in the range of embalming fluid used by funeral homes — and is far higher than the 0.2% that the Cosmetics Ingredient Review Expert Panel considers safe. (Why is formaldehyde in hair products, you ask? Because it helps bind keratin to hair, straightening it.)

For its part, the makers of Brazilian Blowout say the product is safe. “We have been tested countless times by OSHA,” Brady told NPR’s Shots blog. “And we have never exceeded a safety standard ever.”

“In our continued effort to clear up misinformation about the Brazilian Blowout, we are delighted to be working with the FDA in demonstrating that the Brazilian Blowout complies with both state and federal guidelines,” a brief statement on the product website says, encouraging hair salons to “continue to confidently offer the Brazilian Blowout treatment to your customers.”

Many salons across the U.S. may be currently using Brazilian Blowout or similar frizz-taming products. In April, Healthland contributor Bryan Walsh spoke with Jane Houlihan, vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group. She said: “We surveyed 41 top salons and found that almost all of them are using hair-straightening treatments. We look across the industry, and the fact is if you’re using a Brazilian-style keratin treatment, it’s almost certainly releasing formaldehyde.”

Given the FDA’s warning, Brazilian Blowout may not be around much longer, at least not in its current formulation. It’s already been banned in Canada. But the fact that a hair product containing potentially dangerous levels of formaldehyde was able to end up in salons in the first place shows just how lacking regulation of the cosmetics industry is.

US Labor Department’s OSHA issues hazard Alert!

 

US Labor Department’s OSHA issues hazard alert to hair salon owners, workers
on smoothing and straightening products that could release formaldehyde!

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is issuing a hazard alert to hair salon owners and workers about potential formaldehyde exposure from working with some hair smoothing and straightening products.

The hazard alert, available on OSHA’s website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/formaldehyde/hazard_alert.html, provides information about OSHA’s investigations, the health hazards of formaldehyde and how to protect people who are working with hair smoothing and straightening products.

Responding to complaints and referrals about possible exposure to formaldehyde, federal OSHA and many state occupational safety and health agencies are conducting investigations. Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Connecticut’s Department of Public Health, and agencies in several other states already have issued warnings.

Federal OSHA has found formaldehyde in the air when stylists used hair smoothing products, some of which do not have formaldehyde listed on their labels or in material safety data sheets as required by law. During one investigation, the agency’s air tests showed formaldehyde at levels greater than OSHA’s limits for a salon, even though the product tested was labeled as formaldehyde-free. California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued violations to an importer and distributer of smoothing products labeled formaldehyde-free for failing to list formaldehyde as a hazardous ingredient on the company’s product labels and in the material safety data sheets.

Formaldehyde presents a health hazard if workers are exposed. It can irritate the eyes and nose; cause allergic reactions of the skin, eyes and lungs; and is linked to nose and lung cancer.

OSHA requires manufacturers, importers and distributors of products that contain formaldehyde as a gas or in solution, or that can release formaldehyde during use, to include information about formaldehyde and its hazards on product labels and in the material safety data sheets that are sent to employers.

“Workers have the right to know the risks associated with the chemicals with which they work, and how to protect themselves,” said federal OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. “Employers need to know these risks in order to ensure the safety and health of their employees.”

To eliminate potential worker exposure, OSHA recommends that salon owners use products that do not contain formaldehyde, methylene glycol, formalin, methylene oxide, paraform, formic aldehyde, methanal, oxomethane, oxymethylene or Chemical Abstract Service Number 50-00-0.

If a salon owner decides to continue using a formaldehyde-containing hair smoothing product, then he or she must follow OSHA’s formaldehyde standard. Important requirements of this standard include conducting air monitoring, installing ventilation where needed and training workers about formaldehyde, as well as providing protective equipment such as gloves, chemical splash goggles, face shields and chemical resistant aprons.

The material safety data sheet includes important information about what a product contains and how the ingredients can affect a worker’s health. Salon owners and other employers must have a material safety data sheet for any of the products they use that contain hazardous chemicals. They must also make the sheet available to stylists and other workers.

OSHA currently has a number of ongoing investigations at salons and of importers/distributors/manufacturers relating to hair smoothing and straightening products. Some citations have been issued.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/index.html.