Health Canada

Health Canada

December 11, 2010 09:27 ET

REMINDER: Several Professional Hair Smoothing Solutions Contain Formaldehyde

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 11, 2010) -

The issue:

As part of its ongoing work on hair smoothing products, Health Canada is warning Canadians that ten additional professional hair smoothing solutions have been found to contain levels of formaldehyde above the limit set by Health Canada. An earlier advisory on Brazilian Blowout Solution was issued on October 26, 2010. These products are known to be available at salons across Canada but are not generally available directly to consumers.

Health Canada has received complaints of burning eyes, nose, and throat, breathing difficulties, and one report of hair loss associated with use of professional hair straightening products. 

Formaldehyde is permitted as a preservative in cosmetics at levels of no more than 0.2%. Formaldehyde is a known irritant, sensitizer, and is linked to cancer in humans when inhaled chronically over a long period of time. Health Canada believes that the reactions are being caused by formaldehyde becoming aerosolized during the blow drying and flat ironing stages of the treatment. Any procedure containing formaldehyde above the allowable limits places clients and stylists at increased risk. 

The following table provides the names of the products and the levels of formaldehyde found in our testing:

Brazilian Keratin Treatment by Marcia Teixeira 1.8%
Advanced Brazilian Keratin Treatment by Marcia Teixeira 1.7%
Chocolate Extreme De-Frizzing Treatment by Marcia Teixeira 1.6%
Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy by Coppola 1.8%
Global Keratin Taming System Strawberry by Global Keratin 3.0%
Global Keratin Taming System with Juvexin Strawberry Resistant by Global Keratin 4.4%
Global Keratin Taming System with Juvexin Strawberry Light Wave by Global Keratin 1.4%
Pro-Collagen RX Keratin Treatment 2.8%
IStraight Keratin (Advanced Keratin Treatment) by IBS Beauty 2.3%
Brazilian Thermal Reconstruction by Cadiveu 7.0%

Who is affected:

Consumers receiving these hair smoothing treatments, and stylists performing the treatment may experience reactions of burning eyes, nose, throat, and breathing troubles. 

What consumers should do

  • Consumers who are experiencing adverse reactions to these professional hair smoothing solutions are advised to seek medical attention. Consumers who have used this product and not experienced any reactions likely have no cause for concern.

  • Stylists who use these professional hair smoothing solutions should immediately stop using the affected product. Health Canada has not tested all professional hair smoothing solutions. It is the responsibility of manufacturers, importers, distributors and sellers to ensure that their product is in compliance with the Food and Drugs Act.

  • Adverse reactions to cosmetics can be reported to Health Canada using a form available on Health Canada's website:

What Health Canada is doing:

Health Canada is working with the Canadian distributors to address concerns regarding professional hair smoothing solutions and to stop sale of the products listed above at all levels of trade.

Products recalled/affected:

This advisory is for the products listed in the table above.

Health Canada understands that the affected products are typically available in salons only.

For more information:

Consumers and health professionals can contact Consumer Product Safety toll free at 1-866-662-0666.

Media enquiries related to this Advisory should be directed to Health Canada Media Relations at 613-957-2983.

How to report problems with consumer products:  

Health Canada is interested in receiving reports of incidents or injury reports related to consumer products and cosmetics that have been previously recalled (health and safety related complaints). Incidents or injuries may be about the same hazard or may be about a different hazard related to the same product. An incident report form can be accessed on the Health Canada website.

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