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Press Releases at LATesting

Category Press Release
Publish Date 10/4/2017
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Formaldehyde Exposure Concerns in California Hair Salons
Introduction LA Testing provides analytical services and testing supplies to identify air contaminants in hair salons and other indoor environments.

Huntington Beach, CA, October 4th, 2017

According to some estimates, there are over 41,000 employed hairdressers, stylists and cosmetologists in California. These professionals work in thousands of businesses located in virtually every city and town across the state.

It is likely that many of these employees are unaware of the occupational hazards they face. Working in a hair salon could expose them to chemicals in the air they breathe that could be dangerous to their health. In fact, not long ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a Hazard Alert about hair smoothing products found in salons that could release formaldehyde into the air.

The alert was the result of OSHA and several state OSHA programs investigating questions and complaints from hair salon owners and workers about possible formaldehyde exposure from some products they use. After conducting an investigation that included air sampling, OSHA found formaldehyde in the air when stylists used certain hair smoothing products. The agency reported that some of these products were labeled "formaldehyde free" or did not list formaldehyde on the product label or in the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

“Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer and exposure can make people feel sick if inhaled,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Symptoms such as sore throat, cough, scratchy eyes and nosebleeds can occur. Some people are also more sensitive to exposure than others, so an exposure that causes no problems for some can make others sick or uncomfortable.”

Workers in hair salons or any industry exposed to elevated concentrations of potentially hazardous chemicals in the air they breathe could be at risk of short-term and long-term health issues. To help identify occupational inhalation exposure hazards, LA Testing offers comprehensive air testing services, sampling supplies and real-time air monitoring instruments. LA Testing has also sponsored an educational video about hair salons and formaldehyde exposure concerns that can be seen at:

To learn more about this or other indoor environmental quality, occupational, health and safety issues, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals.  In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states.  LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.

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