Brazilian Blowout’s toxic tale

GIB, the manufacturer of Brazilian Blowout, a popular hair-smoothing product, has been fined $4.5 million in the Los Angeles Superior Court (California) for consumer fraud, under state statutes that require full disclosure of any potential health risks. Their TV and print ads, as well as website, describe their product as “formaldehyde-free” in spite of having a very high formaldehyde content.

It is our opinion that they deserve to pay a penalty for this deception. Because customers being treated at salons don’t usually read the package labeling, they could not have been reasonably expected to know about the detrimental ingredient formaldehyde.

The company chief executive, Michael Brady, told the New York Times, “We get to sell the product forever without reformulation. In my eyes, that’s the acquittal we’ve been waiting for.” He considers this an “acquittal.” But isn’t this really an indictment against the FDA? The scientific proof on the detrimental effects of formaldehyde gas that is formed when it evaporates has existed for over 40 years.

It all comes down to our individual responsibilities to question the safety of the products on the market. Obviously the regulatory agencies need to be improved. When you work in a salon and all the fumes make you sick, and chemically sensitive people dare not venture into your workplace, do you think maybe it’s not a good idea to be there? Are the tips that good?

We’ll give you a tip: if a product makes you sick, you should avoid it.


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