California's attorney general's office has filed a lawsuit against the popular Brazilian Blowout hair straightening solution claiming it contains high levels of formaldehyde -- a hazardous gas and known carcinogen banned by California's Safe Cosmetics Act.
After allegations of eye irritation and nose burning from two Portland salons, the Oregon Health & Science University found formaldehyde levels as high as 4.85 to 10.6 percent in the treatment -- despite the fact that the company's web site and marketing materials claim it is "formaldehyde free."
As a precaution, some hair salons are now providing stylists and clients with gas masks to wear during the treatment, although a few stylists say they plan to continue with the hair-straightening business as usual.
"Bleach is a lot more harmful. I feel a lot more irritation with color than I do with this," California hair colorist Christine Chavez told ABC news.
The lawsuit alleges that the Brazilian Blowout sold its hair solution based on false claims to be "safe" and "formaldehyde free." The suit also claims the Hollywood-based company violated Proposition 65, a law that requires signs warning consumers about cancer-causing chemicals.
The attorney general's office is seeking fines of $2,500 for each violation and up to $2,500 for each day that the company failed to warn consumers about the hazardous chemical.
"Acute symptoms can include irritation, nose bleed and headache, but more chronic exposure can lead to cancer. It is a known human carcinogen," added Rebecca Sutton from the Environmental Working Group.
Not surprisingly, the company's CEO stands by its product saying it is still safe to use.
Straight strand seekers beware!
And check out these lessons learned from getting a Brazilian Blowout.
Want a safer way to beat the frizz? Try these pro hair tips.