NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2011-0014-3147, formaldehyde exposures during Brazilian Blowout hair smoothing treatment at a hair salon - Ohio.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 2011-0014-3147, 2011 Nov; :1-19
In November 2010, NIOSH received an HHE request from the owner of a hair salon in Ohio. The request concerned employee exposure to formaldehyde when performing hair smoothing treatments using the Brazilian Blowout hair products. We met with the employer and employee representatives on December 13, 2010. We looked at the hair treatment processes, work practices, and conditions at the salon. We collected air samples for formaldehyde at four locations in the salon when no treatment was being conducted. We then collected air samples on a hairstylist performing the Brazilian Blowout treatment and another hairstylist working in the salon. We collected bulk samples of the Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution - Formaldehyde Free Smoothing Formula, the Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Anti-Residue Shampoo, and the Brazilian Blowout Acai Deep Conditioning Masque from their original containers. We also talked with employees about their work practices and asked them to complete a survey about their symptoms. The PBZ air sample results for formaldehyde exceeded the NIOSH ceiling limit of 0.1 ppm and the ACGIH ceiling limit of 0.3 ppm but did not exceed the OSHA STEL of 2 ppm. Bulk sample analyses indicated that the Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution - Formaldehyde Free Smoothing Formula contained 11 percent formaldehyde, and the Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Anti-Residue Shampoo contained 0.046 percent formaldehyde. The Brazilian Blowout Acai Deep Conditioning Masque contained 0.0013 percent formaldehyde. All three employees present in the salon on the day of our evaluation completed the survey. None of these employees reported symptoms while the treatment was being applied, but one did report throat irritation when applying the product in the past. We recommended that the hair salon discontinue the use of the Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution - Formaldehyde Free Formula product. If the salon continues to use this product, it should follow the requirements listed in the OSHA formaldehyde standard. The employer should also discuss specific health hazards associated with formaldehyde with its employees. These health hazards include cancer, irritation, and sensitization of the skin and respiratory system. Employees should wear nitrile or butyl rubber gloves to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction to latex.
Region-5; Health-hazards; Hazardous-materials; Hairdressers; Carcinogens; Carcinogenicity; Formaldehydes; Skin-exposure; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Air-sampling; Sampling; Work-practices; Breathing-zone; Cancer; Skin-irritants; Skin-sensitivity; Respiratory-irritants; Gloves; Personal-protective-equipment; Author Keywords: Beauty Salons; formaldehyde (CAS number 50-00-0); hair salon; Brazilian Blowout; smoothing; hair treatment; acai
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division