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California Gives it to Brazilian Blowout Straight: Reformulate or Remove Products


After more than a year of controversy and legal battles, a California Superior Court has ordered GIB, LLC, manufacturers of Brazilian Blowout—the popular hair-straightening salon product—to be pulled from the market within the next 30 days for violations of California air quality laws.

According to the California Air Resources Board, the current Brazilian Blowout formulations are in violation of several laws for containing high levels of formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen, and smog-forming pollutant.

Controversy began surrounding the popular salon treatment in 2010 when it was revealed that the company was deceptively labeling the product “formaldehyde-free” even despite confirmed formaldehyde levels. “This dangerous product never should have been on the market to begin with,” said Janet Nudelman on behalf of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in a statement. “But because of lax U.S. regulation, countless stylists and salon patrons have been exposed to harmful levels of formaldehyde. Unfortunately, Brazilian Blowout is just one of many examples of why Congress needs to pass the Safe Cosmetics Act.”

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From the Organic Authority Files

Women's Voices for the Earth reports that three independent lab tests confirmed the current formulation of Brazilian Blowouts release high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which violates California laws. VOCs create ground level ozone, which is connected to California's serious smog problem. The tests revealed that Brazilian Blowout samples contained between 8.1 percent and 11.49 percent VOCs by weight when the legal limit for the product is 6 percent. Additionally, stylists regularly working with the product are exposed to formaldehyde levels that exceed California's Proposition 65 warning threshold, which is used to protect state residents from excessive exposure to harmful chemicals.

GIB has reportedly formulated a new product after previously refusing to reformulate or pull the product. The company's refusal led the California Attorney General's Office to submit a request to the state's Superior Court to remove the product from the market. The state's Air Resources Board will test the newly reformulated product by December 15th to determine its compliance with VOC limits before allowing Brazilian Blowouts back in circulation. The product is currently banned in Canada, Australia, Germany, France and Ireland.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: Nomadic Lass

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