By and and  on October 8, 2010

The professional hair-smoothing treatment called Brazilian Blowout — one of the biggest innovations in the salon industry in the last decade — is enmeshed in a controversy that calls into question the safety of ingredients used in its popular salon service. Accusations that the formula contains formaldehyde — classified as a probable carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — has sparked a backlash from several high-profile salons and consumers clamoring for independent lab testing of the product’s formula.

The dustup began after the Oregon Health & Science University’s Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology last week released lab results that indicated the Brazilian Blowout formula contained formaldehyde. The tests were conducted after stylists at two Portland-based salons complained of eye irritation, nose burning and other symptoms, and submitted samples of the product from their salons to the center. Results showed that formulations of Brazilian Blowout contained between 4.85 percent and 10.6 percent formaldehyde.

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