Cadiveu hits back over ‘incorrect’ Formaldehyde claims

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Occupational safety and health

Brazil-based hair care company Cadiveu has hit back over claims made by Health Canada and the OSHA regarding dangerous levels of Formaldehyde used in its Brazilian Blowout hair treatment.

Following the claims made last week, Cadiveu’s US distributor has called for an update in standardized testing and claims to have proven the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) allegations of the Brazilian Blowout solution containing between 4.85 percent and 10.6 percent of formaldehyde, as incorrect.

The issue was raised last week by Canada’s Federal Department for health, who claimed the hair smoothing solution, which is available in salons, was found to contain unacceptable levels of formaldehyde.

Cadiveu USA has since stated that before it entered into its distribution agreement with Cadiveu Brazil, it was assured that Cadiveu’s chemists were not relying on formaldehyde in their formulas.

To confirm this, the company claims it hired an independent lab to test the products thoroughly.

The test results confirmed the formula does not contain formaldehyde as a functional ingredient in the hair smoothing process, according to Cadiveu, and as a result it was happy to offer what it feels is a safe product.

Numerous health concerns reported

Health Canada reported to have received numerous reports of burning eyes, nose, and throat, breathing difficulties, and even one report of hair loss associated with the use of the product.

It believes the reactions were caused by the irritant becoming aerosolized during the blow drying and flat ironing stages of the treatment.

The health department, based in Ontario, announced it had conducted tests of its own, finding the solution to contain 12 percent formaldehyde, in comparison to the maximum 0.2 percent permitted in cosmetics when used as a preservative.

It also stated that any procedure containing formaldehyde above the allowed limits places clients and stylists at increased risk.

The hair treatment only recently became available in Canada through hair salons, and gained popularity because it promises to straighten curly hair non-permanently and naturally, without harmful chemicals, and without changing the structure of the hair.

Cadiveu act to prove tests are inaccurate

A similar claim was made by the OSHA, which Cadiveu says it has since proven to be incorrect.

The makers of Brazilian Blowout cited flaws in the testing methods used by Oregon’s division of OSHA which actually causes creation of additional Formaldehyde not normally found in the product and reporting levels of the irritant that cannot possibly exist.

It claims what the OHSA is actually reporting is the amount of methylene glycol in the product, not formaldehyde.

Doug Schoon, a scientist who works with state, federal and international regulators to develop industry related standards, backed up this statement, explaining methylene glycol, which is a key ingredient in most professional hair smoothing products, was often incorrectly referred to as formaldehyde, which he stresses is not and never will be a cosmetic ingredient.

“Misunderstanding of the nature of formaldehyde has led to the incorrect belief that 37 percent methylene glycol is the same as 37 percent formaldehyde when in fact, 37 percent methylene glycol contains only trace amounts of formaldehyde; less than 0.05 percent to be precise,”​ he explained.

In light of recent attention Cadiveu has also placed a call to action on the industry to update testing standards to provide accurate information and safety for customers, calling standardized tests for formaldehyde ‘inaccurate’.

The hair care company has also suggested that government agencies upgrade their testing and apply a standardization to the testing methodology so that well-tested safety requirements established by the OSHA and other regulators can be appropriately applied to all companies across the industry.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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