Formaldehyde in Haircare Products Targeted by Lawmakers

Posted on December 14, 2012

One may not often think about the hazards that could be posed by haircare products, but the chemical content in such items is cause for concern for some.  Three Democratic lawmakers in particular have grown increasingly worried about the formaldehyde content in various hair products.

They have sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration requesting further action on haircare products that contain high amounts of formaldehyde.  In particular, they are concerned about the prevalence of the chemical in items used for keratin, or Brazilian, hair treatments.  Such treatments are meant to straighten an individual’s hair for three months or so.

One item singled out by the lawmakers is something known as Brazilian Blowout.  A class-action lawsuit against this item was settled earlier in the year, and as per the terms of that settlement, “formaldehyde free” could no longer be a selling point in the product’s marketing materials.  However, the worry among some is that even with the marketing change, people will still seek these haircare treatments.

The lawmakers are thus calling upon the FDA to consider banning formaldehyde from such items completely, and barring that, to at least make a move to take off the market any items that are adulterated or otherwise branded inappropriately.  If the FDA makes such a move on a formaldehyde ban, then the United States would join Ireland, Australia, and Canada on the list of countries that have done so.

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