Congress and Brazilian blowouts – sounds like a sex scandal

Great news!  Since Congress was obsessed with regulating women and life in general in 2012, here’s a little something about (mostly) women, Congress can regulate for the new year.  Yes, I’m talking about the Brazilian Blowout.  

While it’s a given that women do strange things in the name of beauty, including dying after any number of botched, fill-in-the-blank, type beauty type actions; what’s bothersome is vapors from the Brazilian Blowout mirrors second-hand smoke; and I’d really prefer not to get cancer because the chick in the next chair came in for a Brazilian blowout.

So while I’m pleased that California’s Kenny Birstein, the guy behind the Brazilian Blowout, along with his friends, Monte Devlin Semler and Bitney Huinker were collectively trounced by the State of California after the Attorney General scored a $600,000 smack-down against Birstein’s Brazilian Blowout, (dba as GIB LLC) due to deceptive advertising and their failure to disclose a known cancer-causing ingredient; what’s concerning is it just applies to California.

There’s 49 other states, and also, GIB is an international company.  (Mercifully, Canada’s safe.  The Brazilian Blowout was blown out of Canada, too.)

But in that Birstein’s attorneys claimed the AG’s action was “baseless litigation” and that the State hadn’t proved irreparable harm to stylists,  (I guess they’re all supposed to all die first), that means most American women, and the world remains at risk.

Back to Congress!  Congressional hearings heard these complaints in March of 201 and did, nothing.  Surprised?

Michael DiBartolomeis, Chief of Safe Cosmetics Program with the Department of Public health cited the Brazilian Blowout as an example of a product that should never been allowed to go to market.  At the hearings, DiBartolomeis said,

“Cosmetic products that contain known human carcinogens or chemicals that impair human reproduction or development are marketed and sold without adequate safety tests because the existing law allows it.”

Considering the number of stylists and women who get their hair done on a weekly basis, and considering the 31 bills members of Congress brought to regulate women’s bodies last year, why didn’t Congress get it in gear for the blowouts?  Why was the safety of women blown off?

More bad news

Federal law does not require FDA approval before a beauty product is sold to the public.

Still more bad news

Making things slightly worse for (mostly) women, the FDA doesn’t have authority to recall a harmful product.  At least according to Michael Landa, director of the FDA’s Food Safety and Applied Nutrition branch.  Landa mentioned that key point while testifying before a congressional subcommittee….which, again, did nothing.

That’s because the meeting was attended primarily by representatives of the cosmetics industry who were, (surprise) also testifying as witnesses.

Although the original meeting on the issue was in March, none of those present who were part of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee (which took 30 years to convene the meeting in the first place) did….anything.

Why couldn’t they get it together to at the very least, issue Recall authority to the FDA?

After all, it’s not as if Congress got much of anything done last year, so doing so would seem easy enough.

But as it currently stands – thanks to congressional inaction, the cancer producing cosmetics industry will follow the path cigarette manufacturers did.  This is no loophole folks, it’s a high-speed rail of bad news coming to a salons outside California.

Thus, not only is the person receiving a Brazilian blowout at risk, so are hair stylists and other customers.

Please write your representative and ask why Congress, when given an opportunity to make constructive change impacting huge numbers of women, chose to blow off the opportunity to make going to the hair salon, safe.

I’m dying to know.

(Mainly because my guess is no Congressional kid or family member is clamoring for Brazilian Blowouts. I remember who got the gas masks when anthrax was thought to be on the Hill.  Congress does protect their own.)

Sadly, Congress is beginning to remind me of the doctors featured in those long ago cigarette commercials.  The ones where doctors dressed in crisp white coats recommending certain brand of cigarette, because “it soothes sore throats.”

The public needs to watch Congress act on behalf of the public they claim to serve, instead of “industry officials” or the K Street lobbyists sent to “testify” at hearings.

Otherwise, as it stands, the cosmetics industry’s Brazilian Blowouts will continue relying on what has become major league Congressional apathy towards the public.  And why wouldn’t they, when in the name of greed, Congress allows the customer, the stylist, and other customers in the salon to be sacrificed.

No reason to let Congress slide.  No reason not to hold Congress accountable.  Please forward this to your Congressional person – with a request for action.  Facebook or Tweet it. Whatever you choose, because…

ultimately, we get the kind of government we insist on having.  So lets generate a public supported blow-back to the blowout Congress delivered to American women.

About bonnie russell

It's not about’s always about people.
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6 Responses to Congress and Brazilian blowouts – sounds like a sex scandal

  1. mary casamento says:

    Brazilian Blowout Kills I am a 50 year old woman. Three years ago, I bought my new home, my fiancé and I were doing invitro, I was planning my wedding, and my life was incredibly amazing.

    I decided to get a Brazilian Blowout at a certified salon that GIB, the manufacturer of Brazilian Blowout, had recommended on their website. It just so happened that it was a salon I had been going to for 10 years.

    I had this amazing, beautiful, long, massive hair. I thought it would make my hair even shinier. All the literature stated that it had NO harsh chemicals and it would wash out.

    A week after getting the Brazilian Blowout treatment, I began getting horribly ill. My hair fell out, my teeth fell out, I got pancreatitis, intestinal damage, I became sterile overnight, and my DNA changed. I was in and out of emergency rooms and hospitals. I saw hundreds of doctors. Because of the false Material Data Sheets that GIB submitted to hospitals and FDA and other entities, I couldn’t get medical help because the doctors kept saying it couldn’t be the product. They told me that there was nothing harmful in the product to explain the severe illnesses I was going through.

    Last August, I settled a lawsuit with GIB, the manufacturer of Brazilian Blowout for damages. My medical bills have been in the millions. I now have to do blood exchanges (plasma phoresis) three times a week; a person can only this treatment if they are critical because it is an extremely risky procedure. I also do IVIG (immunology treatments via IV), blood transfusions, steroids, and many, many other drugs.

    My brain has now severely atrophied, I have parts of my brain that no longer have blood flow, my organs have shrunk, I have kidney, liver, intestinal, stomach, and pancreas failures, I have calcium deposits throughout my whole body that are causing severe blockage, my vascular (blood vessels) are collapsing, quickly losing my eyesight, my nose is collapsing, and my inner ears have shrunk and am losing my hearing. The pain in my head is excruciating. Sadly enough, I am dying, and will be the first person in the US to die from this treatment. (Someone already died several years ago in Brazil, and the product is prohibited in most countries.

    Since the Brazilian Blowout product came on the market hundreds of thousands of people got ill. (Just look at all of the FDA, workmen comp cases, medical facility reports, OSHA, and California State District Attorney case). The original product contained 5-7 times more formaldehyde than embalming solution. (When one drop of formaldehyde is released in a commercial or industrial setting, the business has to be shut down and authorities notified. The person in a commercial setting must wear a complete hazardous material suit to cover ever inch of their body.) Clients and salon workers are wearing no protective gear.

    The new round of Brazilian Blowout products have even more formaldehyde than the original products. (My attorney had the new products tested as well, and we forwarded them to the California State Deputy District Attorney, Claudia Polski.

    The product gets completely absorbed into the body via the head and via inhalation. I had my hair tested two months after the treatment, and I was still off-gassing levels of formaldehyde way above the legal limits. I had to shave off the rest of my hair. I looked like a GI Jane, but my father, Anthony Casamento, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, would have still thought I looked beautiful, and I was being a brave soldier.

    My fiance got a hole the size of a gunshot wound in his liver from sleeping with me and taking care of me. My little adopted doggie, Buddy, is also dying. He absorbed the chemicals from laying on my pillow.

    I can’t change the fact that I am dying from using the Brazilian Blowout, but maybe I could save lives. If just one person is saved from such a horrible fate, then at least what I am going through would not be in vane. I prayer that you will get this information out there to save the lives of others. God Bless.


    • Thank you for being brave enough to share


    • David Marshal says:

      you should do your homework; Mary Casamento is all over the dance scene on the internet for her fraud and claims of brain cancer and lupus that have lasted decades. She won’t die because she isn’t sick. Its all documented in her bankruptcy of 2002 in Woodland Hills, and her fraud charges at Van Nuys superior court for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from men claiming she needed brain surgery………..this was in 2001 and 2002.

      I have no idea why she turned over the money; She is ripping off the state of california for disability, She fakes her brain injuries and I have seen her first hand lie to doctors to get SSI. She is a con.

      Mary aka Cassie Casamento has been claiming and robbing people for over a
      decade claiming she has brain cancer……….she is a pathological
      liar. She stole over $60,000 claiming she was going to NYC for brain
      surgery, before that she had lupis, she has filed numerous false police
      reports including attempted rape and battery when she in actuality fell
      off a suitor’s son’s electric skateboard. She has scammed so many
      people in the past that she is a public menace. Her story starts in NYC
      where she took 10 percent of her bosses business then made a sex tape
      with him, suing him; it was dismissed since she was waving at the
      camera. She has duped so many men with her BS stories. 2003 she claims
      she was assaulted in her home by another “hitman” hired by her ex
      husband who was in jail for defending himself from her biting him.
      Nothing made sense other than she ran her head into the stove and faked

      She has Munchausen’s Disease and you will find at
      Bankruptcy Court all her fraud and deceit. She preys on stupid older
      men who buy her nonsense. Everything is well documented in her 2002
      bankruptcy hearing at the Federal Bankruptcy court in Woodland Hills.. A complete gold digging fraud. She has stolen money from Robert Bergman, Scott McClain and others in her 20 years of sexual blackmail and insanity


      • I don’t do “homework” on the Comments, just the articles. Also, you are commenting on an article that is three years old. Perhaps you might want to consider picking up the pace.


  2. Somehow I find that very much less chilling than how our military deals with rape while on duty.

    Although it’s pretty sickening, it’s also in no danger of changing.


  3. majarmy01 says:

    Unfortunately, not enough of the population cares. But since there is a war on women in the US, nobody pays attention to the Saudis who now have a ap to monitor a woman’s location and can text her male guardian.


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