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Wednesday, 26-Jan-2011 9:24PM United Press International
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CHICAGO, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A hair relaxer found in Brazilian Blowout and some other brands may not only be smelly but presents a health risk due to formaldehyde, Oregon officials say.

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Brazilian Blowout disputes the state's findings.

An investigation by Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Administration was conducted after hairstylists in Portland reported nosebleeds, breathing problems and eye irritation linked to the use of keratin-based smoothers used by curly haired women of all races about every four months for $350 to $600, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Oregon OSHA issued a 30-page report last October, but the report concluded there's a lack of information available about the safety of keratin products.

However, the report did say that although many of the keratin-based smoothing products were labeled "formaldehyde-free", state officials found 37 of 56 samples of Brazilian Blowout products from various salons contained 6.4 percent to 11.8 percent formaldehyde, the Tribune says. Most other brands had less than 2 percent formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen.

"There are meaningful risks to salon workers when they are confronted with hair smoothing products", Oregon OSHA said after further testing.

The manufacturers of Brazilian Blowout have sued Oregon OSHA, alleging the testing methods in the study were improper, the test results were "greatly exaggerated" and statements made by the state were "false and misleading."

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