Nigeria: NAFDAC Raises the Alarm On Effects of Hair Products Containing Formaldehyde

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned Nigerians against the use of hair smoothing products containing formaldehyde.

The agency said the United States Food and Drug Administration has informed it of the short and long-term effects of formaldehyde exposure in hair smoothing products.

The alert, No: 006/2021 – Formaldehyde in Hair Smoothing Products, was signed by the Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, and issued to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday.

It said most hair smoothing or straightening products release formaldehyde gas, a known human carcinogen, as classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, into the air during hair straightening or smoothing.

According to the alert, when formaldehyde is released into the air and is present in the air at level exceeding 0.1 ppm, it can cause serious irritation of the eyes, nose and lungs.

“It can also cause skin sensitivity or allergic dermatitis,” it read.

The alert outlined some recommendations for people not to use hair products by themselves at home, except they visited a licensed hair professional in a salon.

It said hair professionals should be trained to take precautions, such as wearing gloves and safety glasses as well as ensuring proper ventilation when applying hair smoothing products.

According to the statement, hair professionals must read through the list of components, adding that the U.S Food and Drug Administration discourages individuals from buying hair smoothing products for home use.