A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that women who used hair straightening products more than four times in the previous year were twice as likely to develop uterine cancer than those who did not use them. The study noted that approximately 60 percent of the participants who reported using straighteners in the previous year were self-identified Black women. The researchers did not collect information on brands or ingredients in the hair products the women used. However, they noted the presence of several chemicals found in straighteners (such as parabens, phthalates, bisphenol A, metals and formaldehyde) that could be contributing to the increased uterine cancer risk observed. “We estimated that 1.64% of women who never used hair straighteners would go on to develop uterine cancer by the age of 70; but for frequent users, that risk goes up to 4.05%,” said Alexandra White, PhD, head of the NIEHS Environment and Cancer Epidemiology group and lead author of the study.
Soon after the study was released, many users of the hair relaxer products filed lawsuits against the manufacturers such as L’Oreal and Revlon throughout the county. Several of these lawsuits have noted that the risks of developing cancer are more substantial among Black women, who make up the overwhelming majority of consumers of hair relaxing products. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided earlier this year to consolidate and centralize all hair relaxer cancer lawsuits in an MDL (Multidistrict Litigation), and appointed U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland to preside over coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings out of the Northern District of Illinois.
Boteler Richardson Wolfe is pursuing product liability claims to file in the North District of Illinois against hair straightener and hair relaxer manufacturers. If you used a hair straightener and/or relaxer products and have received a diagnosis of uterine cancer or ovarian cancer, you may have a potential claim. Please call us at 251.433.7766 for a free consultation.
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