A few months ago HerBusyLife published a story about the effects that Brazilian Blowout hair straighteners were having on the health of clients and employees of salons across the country because of the use of formaldehyde in their product. Read the article here.
According to the New York Times, a class action settlement has been enforced and Brazilian Blowout will have to pay out about $4.5 million. Customers who claimed they were harmed will get $35 per hair-straightening session, a fraction of the $250 to $600 salons typically charge for the treatment. They will be compensated for up to three sessions, or a maximum of $105. Salon workers will get $75 for each bottle of the product they bought.
As a result of the settlement, Brazilian Blowout products now must display a “CAUTION” sticker. The company agreed to refrain from misleading consumers about the risks associated with its formaldehyde-releasing products and pay $600,000 in fines and litigation fees. “While the company now acknowledges that formaldehyde is in its product, that does not mean the product is safe to use.” said David Andrews, PhD, senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
EWG is still awaiting action from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in response to a citizen petition filed last April, asking the agency to investigate and review the safety of formaldehyde-laced hair straighteners. Under current law, the FDA has no authority to order a recall of products, even when they have been shown to harm people.
Brazilian Blowout is the best known hair straightener that contains formaldehyde, but an EWG investigation found 16 companies include formaldehyde in their hair smoothing products.