US government: formaldehyde causes cancer


Hair straightening products will be scrutinized further following the US government’s announcement that formaldehyde is a listed carcinogen.

The substance was placed on the list, along with seven others by the Department of Health and Human Sciences (HHS), named as being directly involved in causing cancer.

The report contained warnings from scientists that people with higher exposure to formaldehyde were more at risk for nasopharyngeal cancer, myeloid leukemia and other forms of cancers.

‘There is now sufficient evidence from studies in humans to show that individuals with higher measures of exposure to formaldehyde are at increased risk for certain types of rare cancers’ the Report on Carcinogens said.

Hair smoothing furor

Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is commonly used as a preservative in some consumer products, including hair straightening products.

In small concentrations formaldehyde can irritate the eyes and mucus membranes, resulting in watery eyes, headache, a burning sensation in the throat, and difficulty breathing.

Large formaldehyde exposures is converted to formic acid in the body, leading to a rise in blood acidity, rapid, shallow breathing, hypothermia, and coma or death.

Over the past year it has come under increased scrutiny in the personal care industry following a string of lawsuits and health claims surrounding its use in hair smoothing treatments, prompting some members of Congress to request the Food and Drug Administration to take action to protect salon workers and consumers.

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About Saabr International

The Saabr International Blog is dedicated to being a resource for information on Nigella Sativa (Black Seed Oil, Kalonji). We also are committed to providing educational, thought provoking,and stimulating, information and conversation on health and wellness.
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