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Lisette Attias, who owns Piaf Salon & Day Spa in the District, said she is careful about what products she allows in her store.

“The chemicals we had, we hardly use anymore,” she explained. “We took care of that.”

Sushada Saichur of Shears Hair Salon in the District, switched to the new formaldehyde-free hair products but says she has the old stuff if customers insist.

“I will use it if I have the requests,” she said.

Others say they’ve been around the chemicals their whole careers and never had any problems. Gary Thompson, a hairstylist at Inari Salon and Spa in the District, said he’s not worried because he is a professional who knows how to handle the products carefully.

“You want your hair a certain way; that’s just what we do,” he said.

Cosmetic manufacturers think formaldehyde is not as dangerous as its pegged to be.

“The formaldehyde you get exposed to is more when you eat brussel sprouts than when you use cosmetics,” Miss Fioravanti said.