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The Toxie Diaries: Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde-web1 Hey Formalde-fans!! Been awhile since I’ve written, so I decided to update all my followers on what I’m up to.

So, where have I been? Well, if you keep up with the news you’d know I’ve been pretty much everywhere. (Remember when I showed up in those FEMA trailers for the Hurricane Katrina victims, causing respiratory complaints among inhabitants? Oops!!) Even though the EPA tells people I’m known to cause cancer, they can’t do anything about it! I’m still pretty much all around, partying, you know, havin’ a good time. Don’t tell my publicist :).

Anyway, went to the nail salon the other day. I feel like I’m there all the time! Remember when people only knew me as that reeking chemical in high school science class? I’ve come such a long way since then: carpeting, particleboard, personal care products – I’m even showing up in cribs and changing tables, leaching out into the air to be breathed in by little babies. I’m so well known, I can’t wait to show up at my high school reunion and surprise everyone with my overwhelming success and stench! I smell!

Is there a more versatile toxic chemical than me? I’ve made so many lists, it’s hard to keep track.

Oh, news item! I was just put on the Minnesota Priority Chemicals List! “Priority Chemical” – not bad, huh? I guess it has something to do with how I’m a toxic chemical or whatever. Not sure if I get a certificate or trophy or anything for it, but it’s cool to be recognized. And I just want to thank all my victims and the shameless drive for profit over health that’s gotten me to where I am!

And BTW: I’m in the running for a Toxie Award this year—yes! So well deserved! Check out this sweet video of me talking about why the Toxie is mine. You can attend the Toxies and see me in all my glory.

Well, I should run–I’m having lunch with a few friends. (I’ll surprise them in their new clothes.) I hope it goes better than last time. They were all coughing and wheezing the whole time. Okay, I get it, I worsen asthma symptoms, and irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Ya don’t have to make such a big deal about it.

See you, well, pretty much all over the place! Byeeeee!!! <3 <3 <3


This blog was authored by Jacob Taintor

The Toxies by Physicians for Social Responsibility-LA and Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Creative Commons LicenseShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at


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Thanks for this comment, Bonnie! It is good to know that OSHA is updating requirements and providing resources for salons to improve ventilation.

One only needs to google "Brazilian Blowout" to see that formaldehyde in hair products has been a huge health issue lately.

Of course, we also hope for comprehensive reviews of these chemicals through policy change that would prevent them from getting in products in the first place.

Thanks again!

The recently released OSHA “Hazard Alert” regarding products that contain formaldehyde should be a wake up call to all stylists and their clients. All salons need to continually educate their stylists so they understand and follow all manufacturers’ instructions including the importance of proper ventilation to help minimize exposure to formaldehyde. New technologies have been developed recently to combat air quality issues related to hair smoothing services as well as the gases, vapors and dusts found in the chemical services offered in salons. These include color, bleach, artificial nail services and hair removal.
Google “hair smoothing ventilation” for resources to help salon professionals meet the important OSHA requirements for safety.

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