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ACC Comments on the Use of Formaldehyde in Hair Smoothing Products


Contact: Bryan Goodman (202) 249-6510  
Email: Bryan_Goodman@americanchemistry.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 13, 2012)The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today reissued a statement addressing ongoing comments in the media about the use of formaldehyde in hair smoothing products. The following quote can be attributed to Steve Risotto, Senior Director of the Formaldehyde Panel at ACC:

“The use of formaldehyde/methylene glycol in hair smoothing and other cosmetic products in excess of the limits recently established by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) does not align with the responsible formaldehyde stewardship practiced by members of the Formaldehyde Panel of ACC. The Panel is committed to full legal compliance and safe product use and endorses the findings from the CIR’s September 2011 review.1

“As a result of violations reported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Cosmetic Ingredient Review’s expert panel concluded that formaldehyde/methylene glycol use is ‘unsafe in the present practice of use and concentration in hair smoothing products.’ The CIR’s conclusion was based on information suggesting that formaldehyde/methylene glycol levels in some hair smoothing products exceeded those that the expert panel determined to be safe and that workplace practices to minimize exposures among salon workers were not uniformly followed.”

Learn more about formaldehyde.

1 The CIR expert panel has concluded that the safe concentration of formalin (aqueous solution of 37% formaldehyde) in cosmetics should not exceed 0.2% (equal to 0.74% formaldehyde or 0.118% methylene glycol).  The panel determined that formaldehyde/methylene glycol are safe at the levels currently found in nail hardening products (1-2 percent).

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