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Hair products contain ingredients that pose serious health risk

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Retailers everywhere have begun to crack down on beauty supply manufacturers, and are demanding they remove harmful chemicals from their products.

Courtney Torres, a student and a hair stylist at Capri College in Davenport, Iowa intends to open a beauty salon in Galesburg after she graduates.

However, there is one ingredient that she says won't be used in her salon, an ingredient found in some hair products known as formaldehyde.

"Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.  I mean, it's embalming fluid.  I think we shouldn't be using it in large quantities," said Torres.

Formaldehyde is a chemical found in the Brazilian Blowout Treatment, a hair smoothing treatment.

Recently, Jennifer Aniston stepped out with a short bob, after she claims the treatment ruined her hair.

Torres says she has clients who are concerned about ingredients such as formaldehyde, and that they question the harmful effects of hair products that contain the chemical.

Laura Traum is also a student at Capri College and says she, too, has experienced pain from products that also contain harmful chemicals.

"It's a lot of breaking, burning would really irritate my scalp," said Traum.

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, formaldehyde is a strong-smelling gas that can cause blindness, irritate the skin and has been linked to cancer.

One manufacturer faces a class action lawsuit over a product that allegedly contains a formadehyde derivative.

Women around the country claim that Suave Professional Keratin Infusion 30-Day Smoothing Kit burned their scalps and even melted or permanently destroyed their hair.

The suit claims Suave Keratin Infusion contains a chemical synthesized from formaldehyde, which is not listed in the ingredients.

Some retail stores, like Target, are now rating beauty products based on health risk.

"Those harsh chemicals; you just have to ask yourself, 'Is it worth it?'" added Torres.

Torres says for her and her clients, the answer to that question is, "No."