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Additional Hair Care Information:

There are stipulated guidelines issued by OSHA relating to all those products which release formaldehyde, including the gases, materials or solutions. One of these products which are particularly notable for release of formaldehyde is the Brazilian blowout shampoo and conditioner and other products used in Keratin Hair Treatment or other procedures conducted in salons. OSHA has stipulated certain limits on the extent of concentration of formaldehyde in products used in beauty salons for the hair treatment. These permissible exposure limits (PELs) are listed below.

Exposure Limits


Actually, there are three terms which are used frequently for checking the exposure levels of workers to formaldehyde. These exposure levels are measured in terms of 'number of parts of formaldehyde present per million of air particles (ppm)'. For an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) duration, the permissible exposure limit is 0.75 parts formaldehyde per million part of air. Due to the practical considerations of working with these products such as Brazilian Blowout products wherein there is an exposure to increased levels of formaldehyde, OSHA has also stipulated a Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL) which is 2 ppm of formaldehyde for a 15-minutes of exposure. Any concentration above this level in not permissible for short term.

Besides the TWA and the STEL, OSHA has also outlined an Action Level of concentration level. This is the level which indicates that the upper limits are likely to be reached soon and efforts shall be made to either stop exposure or to contain it. This Action Level is 0.5 ppm which is calculated on a 8 hour TWA.

Exception to Regular Monitoring of Concentration Levels

So, extent of concentration shall be up to STEL or Action Level. Besides, OSHA puts the onus of regular monitoring these levels of concentration on the employers. However, there is one exception. This exception is for those employers who have well documented objective data which would suggest that formaldehyde or other any product releasing it would not let the concentration levels to go beyond the Action Level and STEL under foreseeable conditions.

Monitoring Not Needed

The employers are absolved of the need of regular monitoring if the exposure limits are below the STEL and Action Levels for the two consecutive samples tested at a time gap of at least 7 days.

Communication of Test Results to Employees

There is also a need for communicating the results of the tests within 15 days of their receipt to the employees. This communication shall be made to them in writing either individually or by posting at some location which is convenient for employees to access and see.

So, once you go to the beauty salon for getting the Keratin Hair treatment, you can not only check the labels of Brazilian blowout products for ascertaining formaldehyde levels but can also seek documented proof from the employers to verify that these procedures are conducted under acceptable conditions. It is also true that compliance with these plethora of guidelines has its costs and, for this reason, the compliant salons might charge you more than the ones that make compromises in writing

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