The Oregon division of OSHA’s (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recent claims that samples of the Brazilian Blowout Professional Smoothing Solution contained between 4.85% and 10.6% Formaldehyde has been proven to be incorrect.
Doug Schoon, a leading scientist and expert who works with state, federal and international regulators to develop beauty industry related standards and regulations with regards to ingredient safety, consumer testing and cosmetics registrations/regulations, says that the test methods used by Oregon OSHA do not properly measure Formaldehyde in water based cosmetic products. The tests conducted by OSHA actually measured a completely different substance called “Methylene Glycol,” and incorrectly referred to this substance as “Formaldehyde.” Methylene Glycol is the key functioning ingredient used in most professional hair smoothing treatments currently on the market.
Schoon reports the following:
It is important to understand that Formaldehyde is not a cosmetic ingredient and never has been; it is a gas that cannot be added to cosmetics, and only exists in tiny trace amounts. Misunderstanding the nature of Formaldehyde has led to the incorrect belief that 37% Methylene Glycol is the same as 37% Formaldehyde, when in fact, 37% Methylene Glycol contains only trace amounts of Formaldehyde; less than 0.05% to be precise.
Flaws in the testing methods used by Oregon’s division of OSHA actually cause the creation of additional Formaldehyde that is not normally found in the product, which led to Oregon OSHA erroneously reporting levels of Formaldehyde that cannot possibly exist in the product, especially given that Formaldehyde is a gas. Once again, what OSHA is actually reporting, is the amount of Methylene Glycol in the product, not Formaldehyde.
The only method that accurately measures Formaldehyde in water based cosmetic products is called “13C-NMR,” and OSHA did not conduct this particular type of testing. Had OSHA performed this test, they would have discovered that only tiny traces of Formaldehyde are detectable in these products, usually well below 0.0045%