Class Certified As OSHA Issues Hazard Alert Over Formaldehyde In Product
LOS ANGELES (April 13, 2011) The national law firm of Baron & Budd has been appointed class counsel in the Brazilian Blowout litigation. The case alleges that GIB, LLC, the makers of Brazilian Blowout, failed to disclose the presence of the chemical formaldehyde in its Brazilian Blowout Solution and Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution products, misrepresented the products as formaldehyde-free in its marketing and advertising campaigns, and deceived hair stylists who purchased the products. The class in the litigation was certified by a California federal court yesterday, allowing the case to proceed as a class action. Baron & Budd is working with co-counsel April Strauss, a California-based attorney, and Mark Tamblyn, a partner at Wexler Wallace LLP, in the litigation. The suit was originally filed on November 5, 2010.
Though GIB markets its Brazilian Blowout Solution and Acai Professional Smoothing Solution as “formaldehyde-free,” the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Hazard Alert for the products this month based on their formaldehyde content. OSHA requires manufacturers of products that contain .1 percent of formaldehyde or greater to include information about formaldehyde and its hazards on the label. Testing by Oregon OSHA found that Brazilian Blowout Solution had an average of 8 percent formaldehyde in it, and that Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution, which the company labeled as formaldehyde-free, averaged more than 8 percent formaldehyde. In another investigation, federal OSHA’s air tests showed formaldehyde at levels greater than OSHA’s limits in a salon using Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution. Neither product has ever had information about formaldehyde and its hazards on the label.
“The certification, coupled with the new OSHA Hazard Alert, has proven that this case has merit,” said Laura Baughman, shareholder at Baron & Budd. “Many hair stylists have been misled about the potential dangers of Brazilian Blowout, thinking that they were investing in a product that was safe, but were actually exposing themselves to a dangerous chemical. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen, and it can also cause severe allergic reactions, asthma-like symptoms and skin irritation.”
Brazilian Blowout is a popular hair salon treatment that many women use to help smooth out unruly hair and achieve a fashionable look. Many celebrities have used and endorsed the Brazilian Blowout treatment. Marketed as “formaldehyde-free,” the expensive treatment has been offered in salons across the country.
Baron & Budd has been at the forefront of a number of consumer protection cases. In 2008, the firm successfully negotiated a settlement to help protect children from diesel fumes and, most recently, took a stand about the disclosure of lead on the packaging of fruit juice, canned fruits and baby foods marketed to children.