Consumers: Case Study 1 – Cosmetic

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Jane B. is a 32-year-old African American female who visited her usual hair salon on August 18, 2016 for a hair treatment to relax, smooth, and straighten her hair. The stylist began by washing and towel-drying Jane’s hair, and then applied the straightener. During the blow drying process Jane noticed fumes and vapors. She found breathing difficult and had chest pain and itchy, watery eyes. As her hair was being ironed, Jane developed a strong cough and began wheezing. When the stylist finished, the wheezing had stopped but the cough remained, and now Jane had a headache and an irritated throat.

By the following day, Jane still had a harsh cough and went to a nearby urgent care clinic. She told the doctor that she was in excellent health, had no known allergies, no medical conditions, and wasn’t taking any prescription medications or dietary supplements. Her only regular OTC medicine is a multivitamin product, SuperGood, two capsules daily. The doctor examined her and listened to her lungs and heart. He said everything was normal, but suggested that Jane think about reporting her reaction to the FDA. Jane returned home and her cough went away after 3 days and has not returned.

Jane decided to go back to the salon and asked for information on the straightening product used. The product used was XYZ Pharmaceutical’s hair straightener, salon strength, made in Texas.

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