Mar 11, 2024

Hair Straightening Chemicals Associated With Uterine Cancer Risk

Hair Straightening Chemicals Associated With Uterine Cancer Risk

An NIH-funded study published in October 2022 found an association between women who regularly used chemical hair relaxer products and uterine cancer. Study participants who used hair relaxers were at an elevated risk of developing uterine cancer (endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma) compared to participants who did not use hair relaxers, and participants who used hair relaxers more than four times per year were more than two and a half times (>2.5x) more likely to develop uterine cancer than participants who did not use relaxers. The study also warned that negative health impacts associated with using relaxers had the potential to impact Black and/or African American women more than women who identify with other races and ethnicities:

“...adverse health effects associated with straightener use could be more consequential for African American and/or Black women because of the higher prevalence and frequency of hair product use, younger age of initiating use, and harsher chemical formulations (i.e., higher concentrations of EDCs and chemicals being regulated or banned) than other races and ethnicities.”

A previous report from the same study also found that frequent users of hair relaxers were more than twice (>2x) as likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who did not use relaxers.

For decades, societal pressures and unrepresentative beauty standards have urged or required Black women to use chemical hair relaxers to change the texture of their hair. Hair relaxers are beauty industry products that use chemicals to straighten hair by breaking down cell bonds deep within the hair strand. Products typically contain formaldehyde, phthalates, and other hazardous chemicals associated with high cancer risk– the hazardous chemicals are combined with fragrance to act as scent preservatives and gelling agents.

However, to add to the pain these women have endured, it has now been found that hair relaxer products contain incredibly harmful chemicals, including carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. A recent scientific study has shown that women who have used hair relaxers are nearly twice as likely to develop uterine cancer as compared to women who have not used hair relaxers.

If you or a loved one has used hair relaxers and developed uterine or ovarian cancer, you may be entitled to compensation.

Hair Relaxers Found to Have Toxic Cancer-Causing Chemicals

According to research conducted by the National Institute of Health in collaboration with the Sister Study, it was found that hair products that specialize in relaxing or straightening the hair may contain hazardous chemicals with endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic properties. It is believed that these endocrine-disrupting chemicals can contribute to the increased risks of uterine cancer due to their ability to alter hormonal actions.

The study involved roughly 34,000 participants between the ages of 35 and 74. With an average follow-up of 10.9 years, researchers found 378 uterine cancer cases had been identified among their participants during the study. For those who developed uterine cancer, the researchers were able to evaluate their self-reported use of hair products within the prior 12 months.

With the information gathered, they were able to observe an 80% increase in the risk of developing uterine cancer among those participants who used hair-straightening products. According to the study, the risk was more than double for women, more specifically African American women who had used the hair products more than four times in the previous year as compared to those women who had not been using these hair-altering products.

It is important to note that previous studies have demonstrated that certain hair products have come with a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer. However, this recent study is the first to provide a direct connection with uterine cancer.

How You Can Fight Back

Recently, victims of these hair products have begun fighting back. This past October, 32-year-old Missouri resident Jenny Mitchell filed a lawsuit after she was diagnosed with uterine cancer on August 10, 2018. According to the case, she underwent a complete hysterectomy at Boone Hospital Center in Missouri on September 24, 2018. With multiple lawsuits filed against L'Oreal and other brands who have carried these cancer-causing hair products, now is the time for those affected to stand up and hold those companies liable for their negligent actions. That's where we come in.

Contact a Morgan & Morgan Attorney Today

When it comes to the upkeep of your hair, you should never have to worry if the products you are using will cause you to develop cancer. When companies fail to keep their consumers safe from harmful chemicals or faulty products, it can often lead to severe or even life-threatening consequences. This is why when you decide to take steps to fight back against these major companies; you should have the best support from your legal team. For over 30 years, our law firm has been fighting for the people. At Morgan & Morgan, we have more than 20 trial-ready attorneys and thousands of capable support team members ready to fight for you.

>While our team may be large and diverse, we have one mission. We want to deliver the best results for you and your family because, when you hire us, we're only thinking about you and all of those who count on you. So, when you decide to hire one of our attorneys, they'll work round the clock to help you and your loved ones get the justice you deserve.

Learn more about how we can help you get justice for hair straightening chemicals associated with uterine cancer by completing our free, no-obligation