Formaldehyde Injury Lawyers in Dallas
Formaldehyde is both a "naturally occurring" and an industrially created chemical. It is a "colorless, flammable gas at room temperature." In a more technical definition, formaldehyde is "an organic compound with the formula CH2O. The simplest form of aldehyde, formaldehyde is made by oxidizing methanol."
Formaldehyde is put into many hair products, such as dyes, shampoos or hair smoothing products, and can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and upper respiratory system. It is also put into many cosmetics, skin creams, and into nail polish. Beauty salon workers and clients can also be exposed to formaldehyde in disinfectants and germicides.
Symptoms of Formaldehyde Exposure
In 2011, the National Toxicology Program named formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen (cancer causing agent). When individuals are exposed to high concentrations of formaldehyde, they can experience any of the following adverse effects:
- Chronic fatigue
- Heart palpitations
- Ear infections
- Trouble sleeping
- Memory loss
- Trouble focusing
- Abdominal pain
- Aching joints and muscles
- Difficulty breathing
Beauty Salons & Formaldehyde
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration's website, "Federal OSHA and State OSHA programs continue to investigate complaints from stylists and hair salon owners about exposure to formaldehyde while using hair smoothing products such as: Brazilian Blowout (Acai Professional Smoothing Solution, Professional Brazilian Blowout Solution), Brasil Cacau Cadiveu, Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy (Natural Keratin Smoothing Treatment, Express Blow Out, Natural Keratin Smoothing Treatment Blonde), and Marcia Teixeira (Advanced Brazilian Keratin Treatment, Extreme De-Frizzing Treatment)." OSHA's Hazard Communication standard, salon owners and employees must have an MSDS for each product used in a salon that contains a hazardous chemical. Workers are also responsible to report any health problems they think are from the products they use.
How to Know What Products Contain Formaldehyde
You can know if a product contains formaldehyde by reading the product label and MSDS (material safety data sheets). OSHA requires that manufacturers of products that contain formaldehyde include information about formaldehyde and its hazards on the label and in the MSDS.
In three salons that OSHA investigated, stylists and clients were exposed to formaldehyde above OSHA's 15-minute short term exposure limit (STEL) of 2 parts formaldehyde per million parts air. In one salon, the formaldehyde levels were at five times the OSHA STEL. OSHA also issues citations to 17 salons and one beauty school for failing to protect workers from possible exposure to formaldehyde.
Something to keep in mind is that even products that do not list formaldehyde on the label can expose salon workers and clients to formaldehyde. Some products do not obey regulations while others release formaldehyde when being used. Other products (besides those listed above) that can contain formaldehyde include:
- Brazilian Gloss Keratin Smoothing Gloss
- Cadiveu Brazilian Thermal Reconstruction
- Coppola Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy, Natural Keratin Smoothing Treatment
- Coppola Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy, Natural Keratin Smoothing Treatment, Light Wave
- Coppola Keratin Express Brazilian Smoothing Treatment
- Coppola Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy
- Global Keratin Functional Keratin Hair Taming System Light Wave Chocolate
- Global Keratin Taming System Strawberry
- Global Keratin Taming System with Juvexin Strawberry Resistant
- Global Keratin Taming System with Juvexin Strawberry Light Wave
- IBS Beauty IStraight Keratin Advanced Keratin Treatment
- Kera Green Keratin and Protein Hair
- Marcia Teixeira Brazilian Keratin Treatment
- Pro-Collagen RX Keratin Treatment
- QOD GOLD Solution
Formaldehyde can enter the body through ingestion, inhalation, skin absorption and eye contact. The following programs can provide more information on formaldehyde and the dangers associated with it:
- National Toxicology Program
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
- The Department of Health and Human Services
- OSHA has a helpful fact sheet on formaldehyde
If you think you have experienced adverse health effects after using a product that contained formaldehyde or being exposed to formaldehyde, you should report the incident to the nearest Federal Drug Administration's office or to the FDA's online MedWatch adverse event reporting system. You should then contact Zinda Law Group, PPLC and a Dallas personal injury attorney from our firm can help you determine if a beauty salon's negligence caused your health condition(s).