Formaldehyde levels in hair straighteners too high

January 23, 2014
Formaldehyde levels in hair straighteners too high

(HealthDay)—Formaldehyde concentrations in Brazilian keratin treatment hair straightening products may exceed recommended safety levels, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Mbulelo H. Maneli, Ph.D., from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and colleagues utilized high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet light detection after derivatization with dinitrophenylhydrazine to quantify formaldehyde concentrations in all Brazilian keratin treatment brands marketed in South Africa in 2012. The components of seven commercial brands were each tested three times.

The researchers found that six of the commercial brands tested had formaldehyde levels that ranged from 0.96 to 1.4 percent, and which exceeded the maximum safe concentration of formaldehyde set by the U.S. Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel of less than 0.2 percent. Five of these brands were labeled as -free.

"Formaldehyde concentrations in Brazilian keratin treatment products may exceed recommended levels and serve as a health hazard," the authors write. "Industry monitoring is needed to improve compliance and protection of hairdressers and consumers."

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