June 10, 2011 |
Formaldehyde now officially falls into the "known to be a human carcinogen" category. So does the botanical compound aristolochic acid. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has updated its Report on Carcinogens, and such were the results. That report lists compounds -- even biological ones (again, "natural" does not mean "safe," "nontoxic" or "please consume") -- known to increase or strongly suspected of increasing the risk of cancer. As for styrene, it can now officially be described as "reasonably anticipated" to be cancer-causing.
January 24, 1989 |
Two substances commonly used in building materials are also listed by the state Health and Welfare Agency as causing cancer and requiring warnings when consumers are exposed to them in sufficient amounts: Formaldehyde--Found in a broad range of building materials, including adhesives, carpeting, plywood and paneling. Under Proposition 65, consumers must be warned when exposed to 15 micrograms or more a day in a form that can be inhaled, eaten or absorbed through the skin.
December 3, 1987
Two unions asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington to order the Labor Department to toughen new regulations it promulgated late last month on worker exposure to formaldehyde, a widely used chemical that is believed to cause cancer. On Nov. 20, the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it was lowering permissible worker exposure to formaldehyde by two-thirds, a change it said would benefit 2.1 million workers.
October 9, 2011 |
The stylists at Fred Segal Salon in Santa Monica were doing about two Brazilian Blowouts a day after the hair-smoothing product first came on the market six years ago. The $350 that Fred Segal Salon charged per treatment was a small price to pay for women with unruly curls, who raved about the Blowout's miraculous power to tame frizz and straighten waves for months at a time. "It was a great product. That's why it was so popular," said Fred Segal Salon owner Matthew Preece, who ran fans during the four-hour treatments and encouraged his stylists to wear masks to avoid breathing fumes.
August 17, 2008 |
The quest for straighter hair has moved from the simple mechanics of ironing to chemical relaxing and, most recently, to exotic hybrids from Japan and Brazil. Brazilian keratin treatment, which burst onto the scene a couple of years back, proved to be especially exotic. Its promise of slinky hair involved both keratin (it's a protein) and a secret active ingredient: formaldehyde. The stuff familiar to anyone who's ever dissected a frog. In an "anything for beauty" world, that wasn't necessarily viewed as a drawback.
October 10, 2010 |
Controversy is swirling around a pricey and much-heralded hair-straightening treatment after researchers in Oregon announced recently that they had found that the formula contained the dangerous chemical formaldehyde, even in packages labeled formaldehyde-free. The company behind the Brazilian Blowout responded with a series of statements on its website, first maintaining that the formula contains no formaldehyde and taking issue with Oregon's test methods, then saying it conducted its own tests and concluded that the formula does indeed contain the chemical but in a trace amount that is "considered safe and allows for use of the term 'formaldehyde-free.' " Meanwhile the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and other state agencies are also investigating the product and others like it, which have been the subject of complaints from some customers and hairstylists who've reported health side effects after using the treatments.