A new report released by health and justice organizations, Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), Black Women for Wellness, and the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative (CHNSC), spotlights how new ingredient disclosure requirements for professional salon products are providing improved and vital information about chemical exposure from the use of these products. The report, Exposed: Ingredients in Salon Products & Salon Worker Health and Safety, calls attention to significant changes the industry has made in increasing ingredient transparency as a result of new laws. It also points to chemicals of concern that, despite years of documented links to adverse health impacts, continue to be widely used in professional nail and hair products. Specifically, the report reveals over 30 hazardous ingredients in professional salon products only recently disclosed on product labels.
Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (MOCRA) is the first time federal cosmetics law has been updated in over 80 years. There are many requirements in the law that move the safety of cosmetics forward and will help advance salon worker health and safety. There are also some requirements that could have been stronger. Learn more!
For years we have worked to raise awareness about harmful chemicals used in salon products, and their impact on salon workers' health. Now, during this crisis, our thoughts are with salon workers whose livelihood, like so many others, has been impacted by the pandemic.
The Food and Drug Administration has failed to act on dangerous hair straighteners that contain unsafe levels of formaldehyde and pose a significant health hazard to consumers and salon workers, the Environmental Working Group and Women’s Voices for the Earth allege in a motion filed July 28 in federal district court. The motion is part of the groups' lawsuit against the FDA for its failure to act on a six-year-old petition requesting an investigation into popular hair smoothing treatments that are still sold in stores and salons. These straighteners – often known as keratin treatments or by the name of one prominent brand, Brazilian Blowout – contain formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen and potent allergen.
Even if you are not a regular salon-goer yourself, this first-of-its-kind legislation has the power to drastically improve the health, and human rights of salon workers in California, and eventually, hopefully, throughout the nation.
Working long hours for uncertain and often substandard pay, salon workers are also exposed to highly toxic chemicals linked to respiratory ailments, cancer, miscarriage and more.
As far back as 2011 the FDA has known that keratin hair straightening products can release dangerous levels of formaldehyde putting stylists (and their client’s) health at risk.