Not so smooth for OSHA as Brazilian Blowout sues over formaldehyde debate

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Brazilian blowout Occupational safety and health

GIB, the company which operates as Brazilian Blowout, has filed a lawsuit against Oregan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), accusing the agency of reporting false and misleading test results about its hair smoothing treatment.

GIB has called for action to stop the agency reporting on its products as it claims Oregon OSHA manipulated testing that wrongly asserts that the Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing solution is unsafe.

The complaint states that Oregon OSHA has done irreparable harm to the company and the professional beauty industry, by distributing inaccurate product testing results and using improper testing protocol.

Confusion over substances tested

According to the complaint, the health and safety agency wrongfully issued alerts after claiming to have measured high levels of formaldehyde in product testing of Brazilian Blowout solution, although, according to GIB, they were measuring and reporting concentrations of a different substance, methylene glycol.

“Leading chemists agree that methylene glycol and formaldehyde are very different, both chemically and physically. Methylene glycol is a liquid; formaldehyde is a gas that can be inhaled,”​ said Mike Brady, CEO of Brazilian Blowout.

“Yet Oregon OSHA has inaccurately declared that these are 'synonyms' even though these two substances have very different chemical compositions and belong to different chemical families.”

OSHA claims responsibility to protect workers

Melanie Mesaros, public information officer at Oregon OSHA told CosmeticsDesign.com USA, that the agency could not comment on litigation.

“However, we have provided extensive information about our testing methods and results, available atwww.orosha.org​. It is our responsibility to protect workers, and we will continue to provide information and guidance to employers and workers to help them create and maintain safe workplaces.

The latest action comes after Brazilian Blowout had released information showing the results from air sample tests which it said showed that air quality during use was safely below OSHA limits, which it says OR-OSHA has misrepresented.

Lawsuits filed against Brazilian Blowout

However, Brazilian Blowout themselves are no stranger to court proceedings as bodies in California and Canada have filed class-action suits against the manufacturer, in recent months.

In California, the Attorney General’s office filed a suit claiming Brazilian Blowout failed to warn consumers and salon workers about formaldehyde in its products, as well as Canada’s national health agency banning the product, along with other treatments, claiming unsafe levels of formaldehyde had been found in the product.

In the wake of this debate, there have also been calls to change testing methods in order to provide more accurate results, notably by hair treatment manufacturer Cadiveu earlier this year.

Brazilian Blowout claims that Cadiveu is the manufacturer of the Brazilian Blowout treatments, but the company has since distanced itself stating it cannot be responsible for products that are repackaged and redistributed.

Meanwhile, Brazilian Blowout is demanding an injunction that stops Oregon OSHA from disseminating any further information related to the formaldehyde content of Brazilian Blowout or from claiming that the use Brazilian Blowout exceeds air quality standards.

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