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Brazilian Blowout Lawsuits

Brazilian Blowout Lawsuits

August 22, 2011 — Today the FDA sent a scathing letter to Brazilian Blowout maker GIB LLC, warning the agency it had found evidence the smoothing solution contained formaldehyde, a known cancer-causing chemical, which can seriously harm customers and stylists. More so, the FDA found Brazilian Blowout products to be misbranded and misleading. The products are labeled as being “Formaldehyde Free” or containing “No Formaldehyde.” All the while, the products have been found to contain up to 10.4% formaldehyde, compared to safe levels of 0.2%.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Brazilian Blowout induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Brazilian Blowout, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

UPDATE

December 14, 2012 — Congressman Markey has asked the FDA not to “blow off” an investigation of Brazilian Blowout. Click here to read more.

Brazilian Blowout & Formaldehyde: Overview

For women with curly and hard-to-tame hair, the Brazilian Blowout was a miracle hair treatment. The smoothing treatment provided a lasting, fresh-from-the salon look for 10-12 weeks.

However, beauty may come at a price.

In April 2011, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a hazard alert that Brazilian Blowout and similar hair smoothing and straightening products release dangerous amounts of formaldehyde into the air, especially when the treatments are sealed with a flat iron or a blow dry.

Brazilian Blowout products contain an ingredient called methylene glycol, which is a liquid form of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is sometimes used in hair treatments because it binds to keratin in hair, straightening it.

But, when formaldehyde is released into the air, it can be inhaled, posing serious risks to customers — but particularly to salon owners, stylists and workers, who have prolonged exposure to the chemical. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen, meaning it may cause cancer. Less seriously, salon stylists who use the products have reported suffering from eye disorders, headaches, dizziness, nosebleeds, coughing and wheezing.

Since OSHA’s alert, the FDA has issued its own warning, this time in the form of a letter to Brazilian Blowout maker GIB LLC. The warning not only mentions the dangerous level of formaldehyde found in its product, but the letter also states the manufacturers did not include the proper warnings on the product information. In particular, the label of Brazilian Blowouts states that it contains “no formaldehyde” or is “formaldehyde free.”

In reality, the FDA found the products may contain up to 8.7-10.4% formaldehyde, which falls within the range of embalming fluid used in funeral homes. OSHA requires manufacturers to list formaldehyde on the label if it exceeds amounts above 0.1%. The Cosmetics Ingredient Review Expert Panel considers 0.2% a safe amount.

All the while, the Brazilian Blowout maker maintains that its product is safe, even encouraging hair salons to “continue to confidently offer the Brazilian treatment to your customers.”

The FDA has ordered GIB LLC to address the concerns raised in its letter or the FDA may seize the product. Meanwhile, The Brazilian Blowout products have been banned in Canada. And a salon in New York is issuing gas masks to customers.

Brazilian Blowout Side Effects

Common side effects of formaldehyde exposure include:

  • Eye and throat irritation
  • Increased lacrimation (eye tearing)
  • Blurred vision
  • Hyperaemia (increased blood flow to a part of the body)
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Burning sensations
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Nasal discomfort
  • Wheezing
  • Rhinorrhea (runny nose)
  • Nasopharyngitis (the common cold)
  • Nausea
  • Hypotrichosis (abnormal hair growth)
  • Breathing problems
  • Nosebleeds
  • Chest pain
  • Chest discomfort
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Eye damage, including blindness

Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde has been associated with specific types of cancer including:

  • Nasal cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Myeloid leukemia

Due to the severity of the symptoms associated with formaldehyde exposure, stylists, salon workers or Brazilian Blowout customers may want to contact a Brazilian Blowout attorney or lawyer with The Schmidt Firm, PLLC to discuss the potential for a Brazilian Blowout lawsuit.

What is Formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that presents a health hazard to workers who are exposed. It can be breathed into the lungs or it can seep into the eyes or skin.

On June 10, 2011, the US National Toxicology Program described it as “known to be a human carcinogen.”

It is used widely in building materials like press wood products including particleboard, fiberboard, and hardwood plywood paneling.

Commercially, formaldehyde solutions, commonly called formalin, are used as disinfectants or to preserve biological specimens. It may be used as a preservative in mortuaries and in medical laboratories.

What is a Brazilian Blowout?

A Brazilian Blowout is a hair treatment that promises shiny, frizz-free hair for up to four months. The style was made famous by stars like Jennifer Aniston and Lindsey Lohan. The treatments range in price from $300 to $600.

It’s called a Brazilian Blowout because it was initially introduced as a treatment in Brazil around 2005, where a nation of high humidity and a curly-haired population made for eager customers. Due to its popularity, it quickly became wide-spread in North American and European salons.

Brazilian Blowout Lawsuits

While a handful of class action lawsuits have been filed, including a large one in California, individual stylists and salon workers have filed independent lawsuits.

Dana Lulgjuraj filed a $5 million lawsuit against Brazilian Blowout, claiming she suffered “physical injuries” while using the product in her Butterfly Studio Salon in Manhattan.

Other Forms of Formaldehyde

Because of the way formaldehyde reacts in keratin-based hair smoothers, it may be listed on products as different substances including:

  • Methylene glycol
  • Formalin
  • Methylene oxide
  • Paraform
  • Formic aldehyde
  • Methanal
  • Oxomethane
  • Oxymethylene
  • CAS Number 50-00-0

It should be noted that all of these are alternative names for formaldehyde and are just as dangerous as formaldehyde itself.

Do I Have a Brazilian Blowout Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Brazilian Blowout induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Brazilian Blowout, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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