The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging hair salons to check whether the straightening and treatment products they use are safe following a spate of supplier recalls.
In the past eight months there have been six supplier recalls published on the Recalls Australia website (www.recalls.gov.au) after hair treatment products were found to have unsafe levels of free formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde can cause skin sensitisation, sensory irritation and even cancer in some cases of high chronic exposure.
The hair smoothing product range Guava Latino is the latest product to be recalled by the supplier Guava Corp Pty Ltd after the ACCC and NSW Health found it contained unsafe levels of free formaldehyde not permitted by Australian laws.
Other products recently recalled include:
- Brazilian Blowout Professional Smoothing Solution
- Keratin Complex Intense RX, Smoothing Therapy
- Smoothing Therapy for Blond Hair
- Express Blowout
- Hydrospa Keratin Smoothing Treatment, and
- Global Keratin Taming System with Juvexin LIGHT WAVE and CURLY.
Recalls have now been announced for the major original brands of hair straightening/ smoothing treatments and a number of products have been reformulated so that they comply with the limits for free formaldehyde.
The recalls follow the testing of a number of cosmetic products for unsafe levels of free formaldehyde by the ACCC in association with other regulators.
"Cosmetic ingredients must be legally permitted for use in Australia, and must appear on the ingredients label," ACCC deputy chair Peter Kell said.
"Although most cosmetic products are safe when used in accordance with the instructions, if ingredients exceed the legal limits or labels are missing or are inaccurate, harmful allergic reactions or other injuries may result.
"The ACCC is committed to protecting consumers and salon workers by ensuring suppliers of cosmetics are aware of their mandatory requirements related to the ingredients, and ingredient listing, of their products.
"ACCC product safety officers recently attended one of the hairdressing industry’s biggest events of the year, the HairExpo, to help the industry understand the need to supply safe products that comply with the law.
"Product safety awareness has dramatically increased in the hair industry since the initial recalls eight months ago. Most suppliers were able to produce current test certificates for each product batch that showed they complied with the relevant laws," Mr Kell said.
More information on ingredient labelling of cosmetics and the legal use of chemicals in cosmetics, including safe limits can be found at:
• www.nicnas.gov.au (National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme), and
• www.tga.gov.au (Therapeutic Goods Administration).
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