Studies Link Hair Relaxers to Cancer
On October 17, 2022, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a report that linked hair straightening chemicals found in hair relaxers to uterine cancer risk. This report is the latest in studies linking hair relaxers to cancer. Other medical reports from different agencies have found links between hair relaxers and increased risk of other hormone-based cancers, such as ovarian cancer.
Hair relaxer products are commonly used in the Black community, particularly by Black women, who face racial disparities when receiving medical care. Our legal team at Van Law wants to help affected individuals have their voices heard in court. If you or a loved one developed uterine cancer or another hormone-related cancer due to using chemical hair straightening products, our team offers a free consultation to discuss legal options available to you.
Chemical Hair Straightening Products Increase Uterine Cancer Risk
The NIH report referenced the Sister Study led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). This study involved monitoring over 33,000 women in the United States for over 11 years to see what risk factors for breast cancer might exist.
Since then, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) published its findings in December 2022 that supported the conclusions about the Sister Study date, noting a significant link between using hair straighteners and other relaxer products and uterine cancer.
Hair Relaxers Might Increase Women’s Risk of Cancer
Chemical hair straightening products became a risk factor after a notable difference occurred between women who used hair relaxers and those who didn’t. The study found that women who used hair relaxers at least four times within the past year were twice as likely to develop uterine cancer.
Other studies support similar findings, such as:
- Hair relaxers may contain carcinogens that could increase ovarian cancer risk: A 2021 study by Carcinogenesis found that hair straighteners/relaxers commonly used by Black women contain carcinogens and endocrine disruptors that can increase the risk of ovarian cancer by being absorbed into the bloodstream. Another 2021 report by Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention also found a link between frequent use of these products and ovarian cancer occurrence.
- Black Women’s Health Study shows data supports hair relaxer cancer risks: The Black Women’s Health Study has been collecting data from Black women about their health and potential risks for multiple illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer. This study has been going on for over 25 years and has linked chemical hair straighteners to increased cancer risk among Black women.
- Findings about an increased risk of uterine cancer from hair relaxers date back to 2012: In 2012, the American Journal of Epidemiology reported on its study on hair relaxers used by Black women, noting that the chemicals in these products could be linked with uterine leiomyomata, tumors found within uterine muscle tissue that responds to hormones like estrogen and progesterone. The study suggested that hair straightener products may contain “hormonally active compounds” (e.g., phthalates) that might be generally labeled “fragrances” or “perfumes.”
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People With Cancer May Pursue Compensation If They Used Hair Relaxers
If you used hair relaxer products and developed uterine or another hormone-related cancer, you may have grounds to file a product liability claim or lawsuit. No brands have been named on a mass tort level, but that doesn’t mean you can’t file an individual personal injury claim to pursue compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered.
Our team will ask you about your case to gauge what damages you might qualify to claim. For example, you might demand compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future loss of wages, including benefits tied to your employment
- Reduced earning potential
- Pain, suffering, and inconvenience
- Permanent disability or physical disfigurement, including having to remove your uterus
- Emotional distress
- Psychological trauma, including diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder
- Diminished quality of life, including loss of enjoyment in former hobbies and activities
You might claim damages not listed in this article. In the worst cases, families may lose their loved ones to cancer. If your loved one was a victim of wrongful death, our team can help you pursue additional damages, like funeral expenses and loss of consortium. Our team extends our deepest condolences to you and your family if so.
Call Van Law Today to Get a Free Consultation with a Team Member
If you used chemical hair straightening products to relax your hair and developed uterine cancer, you may qualify to file a product liability claim or lawsuit against product brand(s) to pursue compensation. Our legal team can review your case in a free consultation and conduct our investigation to identify any potentially liable parties that may be held accountable for your damages.
Call Van Law today to speak with a member of our team. We follow studies that link hair relaxers to cancer as part of our research for our clients’ cases. If you have any questions about your rights or the litigation process, feel free to reach out and consider working with an attorney from our firm.
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