The maker of the popular and controversial Brazilian Blowout hair straightener has finally agreed to include label warnings on the product.
Late last year, we wrote that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter to Brazilian Blowout stating that its hair straightening products contain “dangerously high levels” of formaldehyde. The agency ordered Brazilian Blowout to reduce the levels of the liquid formaldehyde or face a product ban.
At that time, the FDA issued a news release stating that Brazilian Blowout products are adulterated and misbranded and that they contain misleading labels and advertising falsely claiming Brazilian Blowout products are formaldehyde-free. The FDA also stated it received a number of injury complaints from salon workers and consumers about eye and nervous system disorders, chest pain, vomiting, rashes, and respiratory problems. The agency described Brazilian Blowout as a “notorious hair straightening products company” and said its tests detected liquid formaldehyde levels of 8.7-10.4%. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates an occupational hazard alert for levels over 0.1%, the FDA said.
In response, Mike Brady, chief executive officer of GIB LLC, the Brazilian Blowout maker, told WebMD its products are safe and contain “a separate substance from formaldehyde” and that “the hair smoothing category is extremely popular” nationwide and its products meet OSHA standards and can be used. The FDA disagreed, saying that “Formaldehyde, commonly found in a number of ‘Brazilian style’ keratin-based hair straighteners, is extremely dangerous and a known carcinogen.”
Now, said Fox News, the maker has finally agreed to alert consumers that two of its formulations emit formaldehyde gas, a known carcinogen, according to an announcement by the California Attorney General. The changes to the label are meant to satisfy a lawsuit filed in November against the firm.
Meanwhile, the attorney general’s office accused GIB LLC of deceptive advertising of its Brazilian Blowout Acai Smoothing Solution and Brazilian Blowout Professional Smoothing Solution, both labeled as formaldehyde-free, said Fox News. “California laws protect consumers and workers and give them fair notice about the health risks associated with the products they use,” Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement, wrote Fox News. “This settlement requires the company to disclose any hazard so that Californians can make informed choices,” Harris added.
In addition to making mandated labeling and marketing changes, the company will also pay $600,000 in penalties and fines for not advising consumers and hair stylists its products contain potentially cancer-causing chemicals; the company also agreed to have its products tested for toxins and that that testing will be conducted at a state-approved lab, said FoxNews. GIB must also provide salons with documentation that details recommended safety precautions.
A Brazilian Blowout class action lawsuit was recently filed, one of many such claims filed in the wake of an Oregon health alert on the matter, that seeks more than $5 million in class damages for fraud by omission, unjust enrichment, breach of warranty, intentional misrepresentation, false advertising, and violation of business laws. Brazilian Blowout and similar products have been banned in Australia, Canada, Ireland, France, and Germany.