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Parliamentary questions
9 March 2012
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Oreste Rossi (EFD)

 Subject: Hair-straightening treatments containing formaldehyde

Hair-straightening treatments frequently contain formaldehyde, a harmful substance both for people undergoing the treatment and for hairdressers, who come into contact with it several times a day. Formaldehyde is highly irritating to the eyes, and it has been banned as a result of its toxicity.

In fact, hair treatments containing a certain amount of formaldehyde are now illegal and their distribution has been prohibited since 2010.

Certain straightening products containing approximately 0.2 % formaldehyde are still permitted, but the percentage of the straightening substance is so low that it is not enough to perform ‘Brazilian hair straightening’.

Despite the fact that products containing formaldehyde are banned, many hairdressers continue to use them. Young girls in particular undergo these harmful treatments, ignoring the substance’s toxicity and the negative effects that it could have on their health.

There is a clear need for greater consumer protection with regard to these cosmetic products.

Given that formaldehyde treatments are very often imported from abroad under false labels, can the Commission state whether it intends to adopt more restrictive measures for the marketing of these products and raise awareness of the risks of the abovementioned substance?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 240 E, 21/08/2013
Last updated: 22 March 2012Legal notice