When retailers adopt policies on the safety of the products they sell, it’s called retail regulation.
Dear Joseph Kellner
In the hair styling business, people are willing to pay big bucks for long-lasting, silky smooth locks. Keratin hair treatments now seem to be the preferred method of attaining a head-turning hairdo.
Once available only from pricy professional stylists, keratin hair treatments are now available over-the-counter in affordable do-it-yourself kits, as if do it yourself hair color is not enough. As it turns out, these at-home treatments have left some customers with more than just extra money on their hands. Suave Keratin Infusion Treatment will give you 30 days of soft, smooth, shiny hair, though it claims. This situation brings back memory’s of the Brazilian Blowout, remember they lied about the not FORMALDHYDE. See where it got them, and it seems Suave is in a boat they created by themselves just like Brazilian Blowout.
“The Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion30-Day Smoothing Kit transforms Frizz like a salon keratin treatment- at home! In just three easy steps, hair is sleeker, smoother and easier to style.”
A sizeable number of Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion users have taken to the internet with claims that the product has made their hair fall out. Other consumers claim to have been left with badly damaged hair requiring drastic intervention in the form of aggressive hairstyle modification (read: getting their hair chopped off). Suave has discontinued the product and provided resources to customers who have questions about the product’s safety and effectiveness. I have called Suave repeatedly to ask them information on there recall and not to my suprise I get no answers!
This dustup “highlights” (please forgive the pun) a truly important issue in consumer product safety. That’s a key concept that consumers should remember in order to keep themselves safe: Follow the directions! Too many people are injured when they fail to heed (or even read) the manufacturer’s guidance. In some cases, of course, the product in question cannot be rendered safe or the manufacturer should anticipate consumer misuse or confusion. In those cases, the manufacturer has a greater burden to ensure the safety of their customers. Keratin treatments should not be sold to the consumer. Keratin treatments should be banned. Manufacturers should not be selling (kits) to the consumer that is a service in the salon. The salon community or beauty professional has no clue to the amount of keratin treatments that are sold on the internet. If they did and hopefully they will open there eye’s up to the problem they may join together to get something done in there industry. But I have a better chance of turning into a afro-america than to see the professional make a stand for there industry. Here are some reviews about the product made by Suave.
June 20, 2012 12:44 PM
June 23, 2012 6:52 PM
June 26, 2012 9:26 AM
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.
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.