Formaldehyde Chemical Injury Lawyers in Austin
Formaldehyde is a dangerous chemical found in certain hair smoothing products. Overexposure to formaldehyde may cause serious health complications. Because of this, the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued a warning to consumers and beauticians about the health hazards of formaldehyde overexposure. Salon stylists, owners, and other workers are at a greater risk of suffering overexposure than their customers.
Salon owners have the right to know whether or not the products they purchase contain formaldehyde so that they can take the necessary precautions to avoid serious health complications. In the past, OSHA has found formaldehyde in products that claimed to be free of dangerous chemicals. Because of this, OSHA has done extensive testing to determine how much formaldehyde is unsafe and the adverse side effects of overexposure.
Beauty Salon Injuries and Side Effects
If your workplace contains an unsafe amount of formaldehyde in the air, you may be exposed to it by breathing it in, getting it on your skin or getting it in your mouth and eyes. Simply put, formaldehyde is dangerous because it has been known to cause cancer. Additionally, it may cause eye irritation, eye damage, blindness, nose irritation, bloody nose, skin sensitivity, rashes, itching, difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing.
According to OSHA, as little as 0.1 ppm of formaldehyde in the air can cause irritation. If exposed to this much formaldehyde, you could suffer from nose, throat or lung irritation. The adverse effects of formaldehyde are directly related to your level of exposure. If you are exposed to significantly more of the chemical, you may suffer more severe side effects.
How to Know if a Product Contains Formaldehyde
Some hair smoothing products contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a strong-smelling gas substance that may be dissolved in products. Sometimes, products that claim to be free of formaldehyde actually contain the chemical. Other products only expose users to the chemical when heated. For instance, a formaldehyde-free product may not release the base unless a beautician uses a heated flat iron, curling iron or blow drying after using the product. OSHA has cited several hair product manufacturers for failing to identify their products correctly.
If salon workers decide to use products that contain formaldehyde, they must adhere to OSHA regulations. The Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for formaldehyde in hair salons is 0.75 ppm, measured an 8-hour time-weighted average. Additionally, short-term exposure cannot exceed 15 minutes at 2 ppm. Although formaldehyde is a gas, it may be absorbed through the skin in liquid form, too. According to OSHA, there are a variety of precautions employers can take to protect their employees from overexposure.
If workers suffer adverse health effects, employers should give them different responsibilities until their condition improves. Workers may be reassigned for six months - until the worker has recovered or is unable to return to work. Salon workers should always label bottles and other containers that hold products with formaldehyde. These warning labels must identify the substances a potential cancer hazard. Employers should also provide workers with protective equipment (such as impervious clothing) to make sure that they do not suffer from overexposure.
Talk To Zinda Law Group
If you've suffered from overexposure because a beauty salon or employer failed to follow OSHA guidelines, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Formaldehyde is a dangerous chemical that may cause extremely adverse health problems. If you've suffered illness because of overexposure, a Personal Injury lawyer from our firm can help you stand up for your rights in court. To see what a lawyer from the firm can do for you, contact us today and schedule a free case consultation.