Hair Products Maker Settles Calif. Lawsuit Over Use of Carcinogen
On Monday, hair products company GIB reached a settlement with California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) to pay $600,000 in penalties and warn consumers that its hair-straightening treatments contain formaldehyde gas, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
California lists formaldehyde as a known cancer-causing agent (Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/31).
In 2010, the state filed a lawsuit against GIB, alleging that its popular Brazilian Blowout Acai Smoothing Solution and Brazilian Blowout Professional Smoothing Solution emitted significant amounts of formaldehyde despite being labeled as formaldehyde free (AP/USA Today, 1/31).
The state accused GIB of violating five state mandates, including failure to warn consumers about a carcinogen in its products and deceptive marketing.
Under the settlement, GIB must pay the state $300,000 in attorney's fees and $300,000 in civil penalties (San Francisco Chronicle, 1/31).
In addition, GIB must change product labeling to read that the hair treatments "will expose you to formaldehyde (gas), a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer."
The company also must alter its marketing campaign for the treatments (Stevens, Los Angeles Times, 1/31).
Maya Pogoda, a Brazilian Blowout spokesperson, said, "We believe the settlement reached with Attorney General Harris represents a fair and equitable resolution."
Pogoda added that the advertising, labeling and marketing changes detailed in the settlement already have been in place for months (San Francisco Chronicle, 1/31).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.