Remove Toxic Chemicals from Hair Straightening Products


Target: Supervisory Consumer Safety Officer of the Food and Drug Administration Michael W. Roosevelt

Goal: Ban toxic hair straightening and cosmetic products that can cause cancer and poisoning.

Hair straightening treatments have been known to contain the toxic chemical formaldehyde. These hair treatments have grown in popularity because of current trends. However, they still use this cancer-causing chemical, which has been noted to have resulted in formaldehyde poising in salons across the nation.

Formaldehyde, which is also known as methylene glycol, is found in products often known as keratin hair smoothing treatments. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the National Academy of Sciences have all classified formaldehyde as a carcinogen. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review, a group within the cosmetic industry that monitors the types of ingredients in beauty products, has also recognized that this chemical is not safe, particularly in hair straightening treatments.

These treatments can contain harmful doses of these carcinogenic chemicals which can result in difficulty breathing, nosebleeds, eye irritations, rashes, and fainting. These poisonous chemicals should not be in such popular products and treatments approved to be used on people. Formaldehyde needs to be banned from hair straightening products as well as any other cosmetic products that contain it.

Beauty is not worth this terrible health cost. Take action now to make sure beauty supplies are safe. By signing the petition below, you will demand that the FDA remove products that contain formaldehyde/methylene glycol, particularly hair straightening treatments.


Dear Mr. Roosevelt,

Keratin hair smoothing and straightening products have grown in popularity due to recent trends. However, many don’t know the harmful chemical effects that these products could have. Many of the treatments are known to contain formaldehyde, also known as methylene glycol–a harmful, cancer-causing chemical.

Even though the cosmetic industry’s own Cosmetic Ingredient Review has deemed the chemical unsafe, hair straightening and smoothing products continue to be made containing this poisonous chemical. There have been several reported cases of formaldehyde poisoning in hair salons across the nation. Symptoms of this poisoning include difficulty breathing, nosebleeds, eye irritations, rashes, and fainting.

These harmful chemicals should not be in our beauty products. I urge you to ban hair straightening and other cosmetic products that contain formaldehyde. These customers deserve protection. Please act now.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: The Beauty Blogger Queen via Wikimedia Commons

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