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How job-related illnesses upended these families' lives

How job-related illnesses upended these families’ lives

The Center for Public Integrity

Jim Morris, Jamie Smith Hopkins, Maryam Jameel

June 29, 2015

Sandy Guest “loved doing hair,” her daughter says. Guest worked at salons in Southern California, mostly Orange County. “She always said that she loved making people feel great, that it wasn’t work for her,” said Guest’s daughter, Adrianne Matheney.

Most of the time, Guest bought her supplies from the salon owners. Among those products was a hair-straightening line called Brazilian Blowout.

Brazilian Blowout, as it happened, was loaded with formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Separate investigations by Oregon and California officials found the chemical “well above regulated levels” in the product, despite owner GIB LLC’s claims that it was formaldehyde-free.

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