The superior court of the state of California filed a initial mandate on GIB LLC, the company behind the famous Brazilian Blowout. According to state testing, the formula for their hair straightening treatment contains formaldehyde and the company is responsible for telling salon partners.
Judge Steven A. Brick will preside over a May 2 hearing, scheduled for 3 p.m., to decide whether the preliminary injunction proposed by the state will be signed, rejected or modified.
The preliminary injunction dictates the Brazilian Blowout’s “Smoothing Solution contains approximately 8 percent formaldehyde by weight, which is in the range typical of embalming fluid used by funeral homes.”
The state needed to test the formula with an independent lab because of Brazilian Blowout's "fervent [and ongoing] denial that its product contain high levels of formaldehyde."
The state tested two samples, one procured from a certified hairstylist and another from the offices of California OSHA, which took the product directly from GIB’s repackaging facility in Southern California. Both formulas were tested at two independent labs, one of which specialized expertise in formaldehyde chemistry. The testing confirmed between 7.87 percent and 8.4 percent formaldehyde by weight in the Smoothing Solution, which exceeds the limit 8 times over for salon workers.
The injunction include violations of five separate state laws due to the formaldehyde, including failure to tell salon workers that exposure to the product leaves them vulnerable to carcinogenic chemicals. The complaint orders GIB to refrain from selling its Smoothing Solution without supplying a material safety data sheet to each purchaser with a warning of formaldehyde exposure.
The injunction also asks that GIB post a link to the materials safety data sheet on its website to warn any customers who purchased the product from May 1 to the present and send them the data sheet that their stock likely will lead to future exposures. They also require GIB to change packaging and promotions using the statements “Formaldehyde Free,” and submit product ingredient information to the state Department of Public Health.
GIB did not return any calls for comment. Brazilian Blowout and the state get to file one more brief before May 2.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a hazard alert on Monday, warning stylists and consumers that the hair treatment could pose serious health risks. “Workers have the right to know the risks associated with the chemicals with which they work, and how to protect themselves,” stated OSHA assistant secretary Dr. David Michaels in a statement.