Hair straightening chemicals can pose health risks

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By TODAY Style

The Brazilian Blowout, a popular hair straightening treatment, has women flocking to salons to smooth out their curly, wavy and frizzy tresses. But the products used in the treatment contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

In April, the FDA received a number of inquiries from consumers and salon professionals concerning the safety of the Brazilian Blowout and similar "professional use only" hair care products. Health agencies, including the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), have issued hazard alerts to hair salon owners and workers about potential formaldehyde exposure from working with these products.

While some salon workers have complained of headaches, nosebleeds, burning eyes and asthma attacks after using the product, the people behind Brazilian Blowout say that the products have "never exceeded OSHA's free-formaldehyde Permissible Exposure Level (PEL), Action Level (AL) or the Short-Term Exposure Limit (STEL)."

What do you think? Are frizz-free hair and other beauty benefits worth the risk?