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Are Hair Straightening Products Dangerous?

Three members of US Congress say the Food and Drug Administration need to address the health risk associated with using hair straightening products. The representatives are Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and they say that hair straightening products contain unsafe levels of formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen (that means something that causes cancer- scary!).  The FDA has received a bunch of complaints that hair straightening products cause adverse reactions including headaches, respiratory tract problems, nausea, chest pain, vomiting and rashes, but so far they haven’t really done anything about it.

The three reps say they first made their concerns known to the FDA last year and asked the FDA to voluntarily recall the products (in particular the Brazilian Blowout). In response the FDA sent a warning letter to the company that produces Brazilian Blowout that stated the company’s product was misbranded and claimed to be formaldehyde-free.

The Congress reps have pointed out that Brazilian Blowout has not reformulated it’s product and say the FDA needs to evaluate whether formaldehyde should be banned from hair straightening products altogether.

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