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Formaldehyde

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HEALTH
November 29, 2010 | By Jill U. Adams, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Is the Brazilian Blowout hazardous to your health? That question has been buzzing through beauty parlors since September, when a chance discussion in an Oregon salon made investigators suspicious of the popular hair-straightening treatment. Laboratory tests revealed the straightening solution contained dangerously high levels of the chemical formaldehyde, which can cause respiratory problems, skin reactions, headaches and more. This month, California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown filed a civil lawsuit against GIB maker of the Brazilian Blowout treatment.
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NATIONAL
January 29, 2014 | By David Zucchino, This post has been updated and corrected, as indicated below.
First, federal regulators couldn't explain the possible health dangers posed by the mysterious coal-cleansing chemical that spilled into West Virginia's drinking water -- except that pregnant woman shouldn't drink it even after the water had been declared safe for everyone else. Then the chemical company responsible for the spill belatedly admitted a second, equally unpronounceable chemical containing ether also had been dumped into the water. Now comes this warning for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians: They may be inhaling formaldehyde while showering in the tainted water, which was declared safe for human consumption a week after the Jan. 9 spill into the Elk River just north of downtown Charleston.
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NEWS
June 10, 2011 | By Tami Dennis, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
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.
BUSINESS
January 31, 2012 | By Matt Stevens
The company behind the popular Brazilian Blowout hair-straightening treatments will have to warn hairstylists that two of its most popular products can expose users to formaldehyde gas, according to the terms of a settlement with the California attorney general. GIB, based in North Hollywood, had advertised its products as "formaldehyde free," according to the office of Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris, which announced the settlement Monday. The state sued GIB in 2010, charging that significant levels of formaldehyde gas were emitted by the products in testing.
BUSINESS
January 31, 2012 | By Matt Stevens
The company behind the popular Brazilian Blowout hair-straightening treatments will have to warn hairstylists that two of its most popular products can expose users to formaldehyde gas, according to the terms of a settlement with the California attorney general. GIB, based in North Hollywood, had advertised its products as "formaldehyde free," according to the office of Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris, which announced the settlement Monday. The state sued GIB in 2010, charging that significant levels of formaldehyde gas were emitted by the products in testing.
IMAGE
October 9, 2011 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
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.
BUSINESS
January 24, 1989 | MICHAEL FLAGG
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.
NEWS
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.
IMAGE
August 17, 2008 | Alexandra Drosu, Special to The Times
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.
IMAGE
October 10, 2010 | By Alene Dawson, Special to the Los Angeles Times
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.
IMAGE
October 9, 2011 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
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.
NEWS
June 10, 2011 | By Tami Dennis, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
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.
HEALTH
November 29, 2010 | By Joe Graedon and Theresa Graedon, Special to the Los Angeles Times
I read with interest that eating three almonds before or after a meal could help with heartburn. Do you see any problem with the almonds being chocolate-covered? We're afraid so. Although they are delicious, chocolate-covered almonds are unlikely to be helpful. That's because chocolate may relax the lower esophageal sphincter, the ring of muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus. Heartburn happens when this muscle relaxes and allows acid to splash back up into the swallowing tube.
HEALTH
November 29, 2010 | By Jill U. Adams, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Is the Brazilian Blowout hazardous to your health? That question has been buzzing through beauty parlors since September, when a chance discussion in an Oregon salon made investigators suspicious of the popular hair-straightening treatment. Laboratory tests revealed the straightening solution contained dangerously high levels of the chemical formaldehyde, which can cause respiratory problems, skin reactions, headaches and more. This month, California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown filed a civil lawsuit against GIB maker of the Brazilian Blowout treatment.
IMAGE
October 10, 2010 | By Alene Dawson, Special to the Los Angeles Times
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.
NATIONAL
July 24, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
The Federal Emergency Management Agency took too long to respond to reports of dangerous levels of formaldehyde in trailers delivered to victims of 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, exposing people along the Gulf Coast to possible health risks, the Homeland Security Department inspector general reported. The report marked a stinging reprimand of FEMA and its slow response to reports in 2006 that air in some trailers registered dangerously high levels of formaldehyde, which can cause cancer and respiratory illness.
NEWS
August 18, 1994 | TOM GORMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Riverside County coroner's office willfully allowed its workers to be exposed to excessive levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde and failed to protect them with proper respirators, Cal/OSHA officials charged Wednesday. Because of the findings, Cal/OSHA Deputy Chief Mark Carleson said his office will consider conducting inspections at other workplaces that use the chemical, including other coroner offices and funeral homes.
NEWS
July 25, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.S. military issued a public apology for dumping formaldehyde into the Han River, a main source of drinking water for Seoul's 12 million people. It was the first public apology issued by the U.S. military in South Korea since its deployment here in the Korean War. Earlier this month, the military admitted releasing 20 gallons of formaldehyde into the Han River in February. The U.S.
NATIONAL
March 14, 2009 | Washington Post
Extensive studies of two toxic chemicals found in children's bath and personal care products suggest that if they pose a health hazard, it is likely to be extremely small and probably incalculable, a review of scientific research shows. The two chemical compounds -- 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde -- were found in trace quantities in children's shampoos, bath gels, lotions and wipes in a study conducted by the consumer group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
SCIENCE
October 7, 2008 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to act for at least a year on warnings that trailers housing refugees from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita contained dangerous levels of formaldehyde, according to a House subcommittee report released Monday. Instead, the CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry demoted the scientist who questioned its initial assessment that the trailers were safe as long as residents opened a window or another vent, the report said.
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