Beauty: Could Brazilian hair straightening lead to cancer?

Television personality Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi (R) cuts a lock of hair from doner Karen Libreros (L) while attending a Locks of Love charity event in 2010.

Better watch out the next time you get your hair straightened. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a hazard warning yesterday about hair straighteners to all hair salon owners and workers nationwide.

When working with hair smoothing and straightening products, salon employees can be exposed formaldehyde, which has been linked to lung and nose cancer if it is inhaled, warned OSHA.

OSHA started their investigation after salon workers complained that using products like the popular Brazilian Blowout and other hair smoothing products was making them sick.

Salon workers said they cough, have trouble breathing and have watery eyes when working with some hair straightening products.

If a salon owner continues to use products that contain formaldehyde, then they must follow OSHA’s standards, warned the government: Ventilating the room, as well as wearing gloves, chemical splash goggles, face shields and chemical resistant aprons.


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