Airing it out: Madison’s Aerovex System’s helps salon patrons breathe easy October 25, 2011

When people talk these days about saving the environment, they usually mean the air, water, and land that make up the great outdoors. But while Jeff Cardarella is more attuned than most to the challenges faced by the environment on a grand scale, in his professional life, he’s been more focused on saving the indoor environment.

The owner of Madison’s Aerovex System’s, Cardarella is on a mission to clean up the air in salons – air that many salon patrons and workers are forced to breathe for extended periods of time.

“Most of the salon [owners] use their sense of smell to determine if there’s a problem,” said Cardarella. “They’re actually waiting for the client to tell them that they have a problem. They think that’s an acceptable part of the salon experience. It always has been until now. That’s changing. When you walk in the door and you smell strong odor, that’s not necessary. With proper ventilation, there should be no appreciable difference between the fresh air outside and the fresh air in the salon.”

Cardarella has been in business for 24 years, but interest in his salon air-purification systems increased dramatically last year when Oregon OSHA investigated keratin-based hair-smoothing productsafter stylists reported potential problems resulting from hair treatments.

“In October a year ago, OSHA inspected stylist-reported symptoms from exposure to these treatments to OSHA, and OSHA investigated and there was this big blowup,” said Cardarella. “And Brazilian Blowout, the product, was investigated by OSHA, and they alerted everyone to the health hazard. So the industry was just flying along for five years, and then when this hit, our business started picking up considerably. Everyone was interested in how to ventilate to fix this problem. … We were working weeknights and weekends, and the phone was ringing off the hook.”

Cardarella said that since then, there has not been a lot of guidance to the industry, though the industry has formed the Professional Keratin Smoothing Council – of which Aerovex is a founding member – to try to educate professionals and consumers about safety issues related to the use of the products. More recently, in September, the FDA warned the makers of Brazilian Blowout about the levels of formaldehyde in its product.

For its part, Aerovex says that proper work practices, including proper ventilation, can make such hair-smoothing services safe to customers and salon workers, but it remains to be seen how the regulatory landscape will unfold.

In line with the mission

But while formaldehyde in keratin-based products has only recently become an issue in the salon industry, true to his nature, Cardarella is ahead of the curve, and has been working on salon safety and air quality for years. This follows his work in protecting nail technicians from ambient-air problems, and in protecting professional printers. To Cardarella, it’s not just a business – it’s a passion.

“We advocate for the stylists and technicians to be progressive about their health, because there’s this tendency to believe that the government will take care of you because of the regulations that are in place,” said Cardarella. “That’s not so. We strongly advocate that they become aware and knowledgeable about control measures to protect their health, and those control measures include proper ventilation.

“It’s a neglected area, and has been, so we’re ushering in appropriate ventilation for the salon industry on the coattails of this hair-smoothing segment. But it’s a whole cocktail of chemical vapors and dust in the salon that already exists, besides the formaldehyde that’s coming out of this hair-smoothing application.”

Cardarella’s work in this area dovetails with his personal philosophy of protecting the air we all breathe, as well as the environment as a whole. He’s a big advocate for clean air, clean water, nutrition, and a simple lifestyle. For instance, last year, he put less than 3,000 miles on his car, preferring to bike as much as possible.

“If I was in business just to make money, there’s a lot easier ways to do it,” said Cardarella. “Putting pollution in the air is a lot more profitable than taking it out, so I’m dedicated to this because of the need.”

And that need is ongoing, says Cardarella, whether or not OSHA or the FDA decide to get involved.

“People rely on what you see and what you smell, but the dangers are in what you don’t see and what you don’t smell,” said Cardarella. “A lot of chemical vapors are dangerous to breathe that are odorless. A lot of dust that you breathe is invisible. It’s microscopic. So it’s becoming more aware about what you’re breathing and not relying on your sense of smell. This is not about removing odor, it’s about providing proper ventilation and providing clean air. And that’s not just an obvious thing, you have to become educated about that.”

Clean your house, clean up the environment

While Aerovex is committed to keeping the air clean in many indoor environments, it’s also got an interest in making mountains into molehills when it comes to the size of landfills.

To that end, the company is working on a launderable, magnetic wiping cloth that’s similar to a product it sold to printers back in the ‘90s.

“During the interim, I watched products like Swiffer come to the marketplace that were disposable,” said Cardarella, “and way back when I tried to market this product to the consumer, but because it didn’t end up in the landfill you couldn’t commercialize it. A lot of products I’ve been involved with you can’t commercialize because to commercialize them, you have to be able to dispose of them. You have to sell them over and over again. They’re too good. Hard to believe, but it’s true. But now that the environment is riper for considering what we put in the landfill, that can be changed.

“So I’m really excited about this new product to eliminate chemicals and to prevent the landfills from being filled with unnecessary paper towel waste.”

Professional Keratin Smoothing Council Embraces Source Capture Ventilation

Press Contact:
Dina Elliot
JG Communications Inc.

PKSC Presented Voluminous Data to the CIR Showing That Its Members’ Products Are Safe

The Professional Keratin Smoothing Council (PKSC), an association of the leading manufacturers, distributors and salon professionals in the keratin smoothing category, has presented voluminous data to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel (CIR) showing that its members’ products are safe when used per manufacturer’s directions. PKSC members require licensed cosmetologists to participate in a comprehensive educational/certification program in order to have access to their professional-use-only products, and to ensure that safe use and handling information is clearly communicated.

Edward Quevedo, a partner at Paladin Law Group LLP and counsel for the PKSC, states that, “The companies in this industry, as in the auto or food industry, or any other, span the range of corporate responsibility from those who play fast and loose with the law to those who go well beyond the legal minimums. The members of the PKSC are squarely in the latter camp. The members of our Council have spent tens of thousands of dollars conducting product development, safety research and testing to ensure that their products consistently, when used properly, are safe with exposures well below regulatory exposure limits.”

PKSC members are engaged in on-going efforts to further improve their products and recommendations for safe use and handling. Great concerns have been expressed by the public and salon professionals with regard to the safety of products in our category. Data from multiple independent laboratories and scientists have shown that PKSC, members’ products are safe according to current regulatory standards of safety. Our members provide formulations that can be used safely by following our recommended application techniques which significantly reduce the potential for sensory irritation. Our member companies continue to work together to raise the standard of education and information provided by manufacturers in the keratin smoothing category. Council standards include ensuring full disclosure of ingredients and Material Safety Data Sheet compliance.

The prestigious CIR’s most recent determination provides an opportunity and challenge for our members to continue to improve product safety, as well as to enhance education programs. It is important to understand that the CIR has ruled that keratin smoothing products CAN be used safely.  However, they are not yet convinced that they ARE being used safely in salons. The CIR has expressed its concerns and the PKSC is listening very carefully. The CIR has requested additional information to demonstrate that these products can be used consistently in a safe manner in professional salon establishments.

Quevedo said “This is an invitation we intend to enthusiastically accept. The CIR’s job is to be conservative when dealing with product safety. I have no doubt that we will succeed in convincing them that this is our singular mission, as well.”

While the keratin smoothing products manufactured by members of the PKSC contain ingredients that release limited traces of formaldehyde gas, none contain formaldehyde as an ingredient. Formaldehyde is a dry gas, and therefore cannot be an ingredient in any product. It is very important for the public to understand that while traces of formaldehyde are released during application of these products, exposure levels are consistently well below the safety levels established by regulatory agencies. Even so, when products are improperly used or the proper safety precautions are not heeded, both cosmetologists and clients may experience symptoms related to sensory irritation, such as watery eyes or nose or throat irritation. The Council’s efforts include continued focus on reducing salon exposure to levels that will avoid sensory irritation.

The PKSC recommends that consumers take an active role in ensuring that they receive the very best and safest hair smoothing services. They should insist that services be performed using products and application techniques that minimize the potential for sensory irritation. Start by asking your salon professionals which brand of hair smoothing product will be used for your service. PKSC member brands include Cadiveu, Keratin Complex, Marcia Teixeira, and SalonTech. Ask for these brands by name to ensure that you are using a brand that is committed to safety and educational excellence. Consumers should always ask to see their stylist’s training certificate, issued by the brand’s manufacturer to ensure that they have successfully completed an education/certification program enabling them to provide a safe and effective service. Finally, check to ensure that appropriate air ventilation is being used in the salon to control vapors and minimize the potential for sensory irritation. Salons that are not equipped with the appropriate ventilation needed to prevent sensory irritation should NOT provide these services until this situation is corrected. Proper ventilation that is appropriate for the services being performed in the salon is VERY important for both consumers and salon professionals. Aerovex Systems (, one of our founding members, is the developer of a hair salon source capture ventilation system, which provides a premiere example of “appropriate” salon ventilation equipment. Such equipment is useful for many types of salon services, including keratin smoothing and can offer an extra level of ventilation to help ensure the safety and comfort of clients and cosmetologists.

As a consumer of keratin smoothing treatments, it is important to remember that if you experience symptoms related to sensory irritation such as eye, nose or throat irritation, it is recommended that you ask your cosmetologist to discontinue the service. Clients should seek out salons that are equipped to provide keratin smoothing services in an appropriately ventilated environment that will eliminate the potential for sensory irritation to occur.

For further information or to share your experience with keratin smoothing services, go to and register as a consumer. We would love to hear from you.

Cadiveu Verify the Safety of Their Brazilian Thermal Reconstruction

SAO PAULO, Brazil, Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Cadiveu Brazil, one of the first companies to produce Brazilian Keratin Treatments, has always been committed to providing safe and effective products.  Following the recent controversy surrounding formaldehyde use in salon treatments, Cadiveu has undertaken extensive testing, which has confirmed that the presence of measurable formaldehyde during a Cadiveu Brazilian Thermal Reconstruction application is significantly below OSHA’s most stringent standards for safety over an eight hour period. One Brazilian keratin manufacturer admits to the treatment releasing formaldehyde, but it was well under stringent safety standards when used properly; especially if salons are using the Chemical Source Capture System. For more information on this research, go to

Would You Wear a Gas Mask While Getting Your Hair Done?

As extreme as it may sound, salons across the United States and Canada are using gas masks as a “safer” alternative for clients undergoing the popular Brazilian Keratin hair process. Last month, the smoothing treatment came under fire when Oregon’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (or OSHA) found significant levels of formaldehyde in the Brazilian Blowout solution. In order to keep both stylists and clients safe, salons have begun implementing goggles, gloves and gas masks as protective measures, keeping those performing & undergoing the treatment, out of harm’s way.

But how far is too far? “You have to have the proper ventilation,” says Tracy Pohlkamp, owner of Indulge Studios in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin.  Holding a respirator to your face, while undergoing the 90 minute process isn’t the right way to keep patrons safe, but it’s also not leaving them with an enjoyable experience.

The Chemical Source Capture System, developed by Aerovex Systems, is a specialized ventilation system that not only lowers the potential for excessive inhalation exposure, but also absorbs and removes the chemical vapors from the air emitted during the Brazilian Keratin process. In addition to creating a well ventilated area, there is no need for gas masks or facial respirator to be applied. The Chemical Source Capture System keeps the air in salons fresh and most importantly clean. By enabling this ventilation system, stylists and clients are not only safe, but comfortable and happy to see salons going the extra mile for their safety.

To purchase the Chemical Source Capture System,  visit the Aerovex Systems store.