The Environmental Working Group and Women’s Voices for the Earth are suing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over allegations it failed to protect salon workers from products that pose a formaldehyde exposure risk. Both nonprofit groups hope the lawsuit will convince the FDA to pull products containing dangerous levels of this substance from shelves. Liquid hair straighteners used by salon workers release hazardous levels of formaldehyde when exposed to heat from hair dryers or straighteners.
According to the lawsuit, the FDA has known about the risks formaldehyde poses to salon workers since 2008. After learning of these risks, the FDA launched an informational website and sent letters to product manufacturers. The lawsuit contends the FDA should place a nationwide ban on products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. Only California and Oregon have banned these products.
How Does Formaldehyde Exposure Harm Salon Workers?
Salon workers exposed to formaldehyde may experience nosebleeds, difficulty breathing, and eye irritation. These workers may also suffer from liver and kidney damage, and miscarriages. Worst of all, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.
Regulatory authorities recognize the health risks of formaldehyde exposure. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can fine salons for exposing workers to levels of formaldehyde that exceed permissible limits.
Are There Options for Workers Who Develop Diseases from Formaldehyde Exposure?
Workers exposed to workplace toxins like formaldehyde can develop serious health conditions, such as cancer. These workers may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation, which may cover lost income and medical bills. Depending on the circumstances, there may be additional options for compensation.
The Ohio workers comp attorneys at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC can help workers with occupational disease explore options for benefits.