The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced they will continue to raise awareness about the dangers of workers exposed to formaldehyde, according to CosmeticDesign.com. The problem is prevalent in cosmetic salons, and that is where OSHA is focusing investigations.
Over the last two years, salons, manufacturers and the U.S. government have debated the dangers of formaldehyde in hair smoothing treatments. OSHA fined two salons in November of 2011 for exposing employees to the dangerous chemical in some of their hair-treatment products.
“We want to make sure that salon owners are aware that if they use these products, they have to implement protective measures such as air monitoring and training,” says Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels. “What is very troubling to the agency is that some of these products clearly expose workers to formaldehyde even when the label says they are formaldehyde free.”
In 2011, OSHA issued fines to 23 salons and 2 manufacturers in Florida for mislabeling products.
“The best way to control exposure to formaldehyde is to use products that do not contain formaldehyde is to use products that do not contain formaldehyde. Salons should check the label or product information to make sure it does not list formaldehyde, formalin, methylene glycol or any of the other names for formaldehyde,” says Michaels. “If salon owners decide to use products that contain or release formaldehyde, then they must follow a number of protective practices—including air monitoring, worker training and, if levels are over OSHA limits, good ventilation or respirators.”
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