Formaldehyde in Hair Smoothing Products

The US American Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)'s new Hair
Salons: Facts about Formaldehyde in Hair Smoothing Products Web page provides
information to salon owners and workers on formaldehyde in hair smoothing
products, the requirements that salon owners and other employers need to meet
under the formaldehyde and hazard communications standards when using hair
smoothing products, and what OSHA investigations have found.

OSHA has found that some hair smoothing products may contain formaldehyde, may
release formaldehyde at levels above permissible limits during use, and may be
mislabeled, all of which can pose health risks to salon workers. Salons and
other employers, such as beauty schools, that use hair smoothing products that
contain or may release formaldehyde must follow the requirements in OSHA's
formaldehyde and hazard communication standards.

If you work with hair products that contain formaldehyde, you can be exposed to
the chemical by:

  • Breathing it in through your nose and mouth

  • Getting it on your skin

  • Getting it in your eyes or mouth

Formaldehyde is a known cancer-causing substance. Exposure to formaldehyde can
also cause:

  • Eye irritation and damage, including blindness.

  • Nose irritation, including bloody noses.

  • Skin sensitivity, rashes, and itching.

  • Breathing difficulties, such as coughing and wheezing.

Levels of formaldehyde above 0.1 ppm in the air can irritate your nose, throat,
and lungs. These symptoms will get worse as formaldehyde levels go up.

More info - Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration