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The maker of a popular hair-smoothing treatment has agreed to warn stylists and salon-goers that its products cause exposure to a cancer-causing chemical as part of a legal settlement announced by California Attorney General Kamala Harris today.

The state had sued the company that manufactures the Brazilian Blowout treatment in 2010, alleging that "formaldehyde free" labels on two of its products deceived customers and violated state disclosure laws governing cancer-causing chemicals and cosmetics.

In addition to discontinuing its formaldehyde free claims and adding caution labels to its products, Brazilian Blowout manufacturer GIB, LCC, must produce a safety information sheet that includes the carcinogen warning to be distributed with product shipments and posted on its website, limit sale of the products to professionally licensed stylists and pay $600,000 in penalties and attorney fees to the state.

"California laws protect consumers and workers and give them fair notice about the health risks associated with the products the use," Harris said in a statement. "This settlement requires the company to disclose any hazard so that Californians can make more informed decisions."

The settlement, which marks the first enforcement action under a 2005 cosmetics labeling law, also directs the company to submit its products for testing at a laboratory approved by the state Department of Justice. Tests conducted by the Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Administration had found that formaldehyde gas is released into the air during the treatment.

The company called the settlement a "fair and equitable resolution" in a statement relesed through Muirfield Partners, a public relations firm it has retained. It said the advertising and labeling changes detailed in the agreement "have already been in place for months."

"We are pleased to have this matter behind us and are confident these new practices will provide certified stylists who use our products each day and their loyal customers clarity and confidence," the statement read.

n2617 Consent Judgement


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