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Friday, March 28, 2014

OSHA forms alliance with Concerned Beauty Professionals to reduce chemical hazards in the beauty industry

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has formed an alliance with the Georgia Concerned Beauty Professionals in Atlanta to provide hair salon owners and workers with information, guidance and training to protect employees from exposure to products that contain hazardous chemicals, such as formaldehyde.

The agreement will be signed between OSHA and the Concerned Beauty Professionals at noon on Monday, March 31 at the Georgia Institute of Technology, 250 14th St. NW, 5th floor, Atlanta 30318.

"OSHA and other federal, state and non-U.S. government agencies have taken action to address the emerging problem of formaldehyde exposure to hair smoothing products," said Teresa Harrison, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Atlanta. "This alliance demonstrates OSHA's commitment to the safety and health of workers in this industry."

OSHA requires manufacturers, importers and distributors of products that contain formaldehyde to include information about formaldehyde and its hazards on product labels and in the material safety data sheets sent to employers. Formaldehyde presents a significant health hazard if workers are exposed. It can irritate the eyes and nose; cause allergic reactions affecting the skin, eyes and lungs; and is linked to nose and lung cancer.

Federal OSHA has found formaldehyde in the air in salons where hair smoothing products were used. Some of these products have formaldehyde listed on their labels or on material safety data sheets, as required by law. However, through investigations, the agency's air tests showed formaldehyde at levels greater than OSHA's limits in salons, even though the products tested were labeled formaldehyde-free.

Companies and groups interested in learning more about OSHA's activities to improve employee safety and health in Georgia may contact OSHA's representatives in the Atlanta-West Area Office at 678-903-7301, the Atlanta-East Area Office at 770-493-6644, or the Savannah Area Office at 912-652-4393.

Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with unions, consulates, trade and professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. Alliance Program participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA inspections. For more information, visit

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