Salon Air Quality & Ventilation Code Experts

The purpose of this blog article is to provide some tools (engineering controls), so salons can provide keratin hair smoothing services in both a safe & fresh air environment.
Most every article on the internet pertaining to the “hair smoothing controversy”, and recent events, including OSHA warnings and fines, neglect to mention how appropriate work practices including proper ventilation, will allow these services to be performed safely, with no formaldehyde exposure sensory irritation, to the stylist, client or anyone in the salon during or after these services are provided.


Toxic and Hazardous Substances ~ 1910.1048 App A
Engineering Controls

Ventilation is the most widely applied engineering control method for reducing the concentration of airborne substances in the breathing zones of workers.

There are two distinct types of ventilation:

Local Exhaust:  Local exhaust ventilation is designed to capture airborne contaminants as near to the point of generation as possible.  To protect you, the direction of contaminant flow must always be toward the local exhaust system inlet and away from you.

General (Mechanical):  General dilution ventilation (i.e. room air purification and building heating, ventilation and air conditioning-HVAC), involves continuous introduction of fresh air into the workroom to mix with the contaminated air and lower your breathing zone concentration of formaldehyde.  Effectiveness depends on the number of air changes per hour.

Work Practices:

Work practices and administrative procedures are an important part of a control system.  If you are asked to perform a task in a certain manner to limit your exposure to formaldehyde, it is extremely important that you follow these procedures.


Aerovex Systems’ salon ventilation control measures for Keratin Hair Smoothing and other salon services were developed in consideration of OSHA’s recommended engineering controls.  And, under the guidance of Doug Schoon, Schoon Scientific Regulatory Consulting.  A select group of hair training expert cosmetologists were also consulted with to incorporate the necessary design features for development of Aerovex Systems “Chemical Source Capture System”.

These control measures include a “Three  Zone Protection” approach to salon ventilation:

1. Source capture ventilation to protect both the stylist’s and client’s breathing zone and prevent overexposure to excessive levels of formaldehyde.                                                                                                         “Chemical Source Capture System”

2. Room air purification to cleanse the workstation air and further reduce the potential of overexposure to formaldehyde or other salon vapors and dusts found in the salon.

“The One That Works” Salon Air Purifier

3. HVAC filters designed specifically to remove formaldehyde and other salon vapors and dusts from the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

“Dust Plus” Salon HVAC Filters
Just released important keratin hair smoothing videos:

Work Practices:

Appropriate ventilation combined with proper product application techniques (e.g., product portion control), will ensure cosmetologists are working at safe levels, and reduce the stylist’s and client’s exposure to formaldehyde, preventing sensory irritation.

OSHA Issues Updated Hazard Alert on formaldehyde dangers to hair salon owners, workers after new agency findings and FDA warning letter.