A recent study has shown that chemical hair relaxers and straighteners may cause women who use them to have a higher risk of uterine cancer. The study was conducted by researchers at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the findings on October 17, 2022. Researchers analyzed data from over 33,000 women who participated in the study. The participants were asked about using different hair products, including straighteners and relaxers, permanent hair color, or body waves.
Women Who Used Hair Straightener Were Twice as Likely to Develop Uterine Cancer
Paste on the study’s findings, women who reported using hair straightening and relaxing products were nearly twice as likely to have developed uterine cancer than those who did not. The study followed women over an 11-year time frame and adjusted for other factors that could affect their risk. Participants who used straighteners or relaxers frequently, defined as more than four times in the previous year, had an even higher risk of developing uterine cancer. Those participants were 2.5 times more likely to develop cancer than those who did not use relaxers as frequently. The researchers did not find a link between uterine cancer and the use of other common hair products such as hair dye, perms, and highlights.
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The Link Between Relaxers and Cancer
Researchers have spent decades considering the link between hair products and different cancers, especially cancers that grow in response to hormones. Uterine, ovarian, and breast cancers have been linked to hormonal changes that certain hair products can trigger. Most types of uterine cancer begin in endometriosis tissue, which starts in the uterine lining. Some researchers have considered whether a person’s body absorbs chemicals in relaxers through the scalp and distributes estrogen-like properties throughout the body, increasing cancer risk. Some hair products may contain dangerous chemicals, such as formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer.
Black Women are Disproportionately Affected
In the study, approximately 60% of women who self-reported using straighteners and relaxers identified as Black. The link between uterine cancer risk and straightener use is not different based on a person’s race. However, Black women may be disproportionately impacted because they are more likely to use hair straighteners and relaxers. They may also begin using these products at earlier ages than individuals of other races and ethnicities.
Uterine cancer is still relatively rare, even for those who frequently use relaxers and straighteners. Nonetheless, women who frequently use these products experience a double risk of developing uterine cancer. This is the first study of its kind. Many women, particularly Black women, have been using hair relaxers and straighteners for years or decades without knowing about the increased risk of developing uterine cancer.
Pursuing a Claim for Compensation
Companies owned by customers have a legal duty of care to provide a product that is free from unnecessary ingredients that put customers at risk of developing cancer. At the very least, they have a duty to warn customers about the potential increased risk of developing cancer. If you or a loved one have developed uterine cancer after using a hair straightener and relaxer, you may have a valid claim for compensation through a product liability lawsuit. Uterine cancer can be aggressive and challenging to treat.
Treating uterine cancer can be expensive, especially because the patient may require a hysterectomy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy. Recovering compensation can help you and your loved ones financially as you face overwhelming medical bills, lost wages, lost quality of life, and mental anguish. When chemical hair relaxers and straighteners cause illnesses like uterine cancer, victims should consider product liability lawsuits and mass tort cases.
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How an Attorney Can Help
Navigating product liability lawsuits can be challenging, especially when new information continues to come out about the link between uterine cancer and hair relaxers. If you would like to consider pursuing a lawsuit, it is crucial that you discuss your case with an experienced attorney. The Alabama product liability attorneys at Heninger Garrison Davis have extensive experience holding negligent product manufacturers and retailers responsible when their products cause consumers injuries.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
If you or your loved one have been diagnosed with uterine cancer after using chemical hair relaxers or straighteners, do not hesitate to contact Heninger Garrison Davis. We provide potential clients with a free case evaluation so they can learn more about whether they have a valid legal claim for compensation in a no-obligation consultation. Contact Heninger Garrison Davis today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about your rights.