Questions about the safety of Brazilian Blowout’s hair straightening products keep growing. Back in Sep. 2010, the Oregon Health & Science University’s Center for Research on Occupational Environmental Toxicology found 4.85 percent formaldehyde content in the Brazilian Blowout Solution — and a whopping 6.3 to 10.6 percent formaldehyde content in the Acai Professional Smoothing Solution — both made by the company Brazilian Blowout. Then in Nov. 2010, California’s attorney general sued Brazilian Blowout, alleging that the products contain high levels of formaldehyde — and that the company knowingly and falsely marketed its products as formaldehyde-free with “no harsh chemicals.”

Now, Brazilian Blowout products are being criticized by the cosmetic industry itself. According to LA Times’ Greenspace, a preliminary report by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel concludes that Brazilian Blowout’s products may emit unsafe levels of formaldehyde and methylene glycol. The panel’s announcement about the report (PDF) doesn’t specifically name Brazilian Blowout, but notes that “Formaldehyde/methylene glycol are safe in cosmetic products when formulated to ensure use at the minimal effective concentration, but in no case should formaldehyde equivalents exceed 0.2%.”

Since some tests have shown Brazilian Blowout products to produce formaldehyde far above those levels, environmental health groups see the panel’s report as additional reason to ban these products. “After months of controversy, the beauty industry’s own scientists are finally acknowledging that they cannot guarantee that these formaldehyde-laden hair straighteners are safe to use,” said Alexandra Gorman Scranton, director of science and research at Women’s Voices for the Earth, in a press release. “Now we need the next step –a nationwide recall removing these products from the shelves to prevent any further hazardous exposure to customers or workers.”

I’ve never gotten a Brazilian Blowout treatment myself — but have gotten my hair cut and styled at several green salons started by women who developed health problems after working in conventional hair salons that offered Brazilian Blowout treatments. I now not only don’t get Brazilian Blowout treatments, but also don’t go into salons that offer Brazilian Blowout treatments because I don’t want to breathe in the noxious fumes.

Have you ever had a Brazilian Blowout? Do you love it — or regret it?

Cosmetic industry panel raises concerns about safety of Brazilian Blowout products
The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel's tentative report warns that the levels of formaldehyde in popular hair straightening treatments may be unsafe.