Introduction to Uterine Cancer and Hair Relaxers

Lawyer Kensley Barrett working on a uterine cancer hair relaxer lawsuit
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Introduction to Uterine Cancer and Hair Relaxers

Uterine cancer, specifically endometrial cancer, has become an increasing health concern for women in the United States. Alarmingly, a growing body of evidence suggests a link between the use of hair relaxers, chemical hair straighteners, and an elevated risk of developing this type of cancer, particularly among African American women who are frequent users of these chemical hair products, both at home and at the hair salon, due to often having curly hair. Review our website for more information about the link between hair relaxers and uterine cancer.


LATEST DEVELOPMENT IN HAIR RELAXER UTERINE CANCER LAWSUITS

November 16th, 2023

Crucial Advancement in Hair Relaxer Litigation: Focus on Uterine Cancer Claims

In a landmark decision issued on November 13, 2023, U.S. District Judge Mary Rowland has ushered in a new phase in the multidistrict litigation against major cosmetics companies such as L’Oréal and Revlon over their hair relaxer products. This pivotal ruling, impacting over 8,000 lawsuits, allows the majority of claims to proceed, particularly those centered around the alleged link between hair relaxers and uterine cancer.

The core of these lawsuits lies in the serious accusation that the use of chemical hair relaxers, predominantly marketed to women of color, has led to increased health risks, with a specific focus on uterine cancer. This claim gained traction following a study by the National Institutes of Health, released in October 2022, which suggested a possible link between frequent use of hair relaxer products and a heightened risk of uterine cancer.

While some fraud-related claims were dismissed due to insufficient specifics, the primary allegations of negligence, defective product design, and the failure to warn consumers about potential health risks have been upheld and are set to move forward in the legal process.

This litigation has shone a light on the pressing issue of how these beauty brands have targeted their marketing towards Black and Brown women, as well as young girls, without adequate warnings about the potential health implications, specifically in the context of uterine cancer. The legal teams representing the plaintiffs, including noted attorneys such as Ben Crump and Jennifer Hoekstra, remain resolute in their commitment to hold these companies accountable for the alleged harm caused by their products.

This significant court ruling marks a major step forward in the legal journey for the numerous individuals seeking justice and underscores the deep concerns over the safety of chemical hair relaxers in the beauty industry. It represents a critical moment for the many plaintiffs involved in this lawsuit, as they continue their quest for accountability and compensation from the implicated cosmetic companies.


BREAKING NEWS: FDA PROPOSES BAN ON HAIR RELAXERS WITH FORMALDEHYDE

OCTOBER 20th, 2023

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its intention to investigate hair straightening and smoothing products due to their association with an elevated risk of certain cancers. The FDA’s proposed regulation aims to prohibit the use of formaldehyde and related chemicals in these products, especially as they have been predominantly used by Black women. These chemicals can be listed as formaldehyde, formalin, or methylene glycol in hair products, and their usage has not only been linked to cancer but also to short-term health issues like respiratory problems. Janita Hayes, a 41-year-old woman, attributes her development of fibroids to the use of hair straighteners, which led to her undergoing a hysterectomy. Danielle Ward Mason, Hayes’ attorney, lauded the FDA’s move as long overdue. While the FDA has opened up the proposal for public feedback, the final decision might take anywhere from a few days to several months. Previously, the FDA regulations did not limit the use these toxic chemicals or even require a consumer safety notice even with the health hazards and cancer risk they posed.


Hair relaxers are a staple in many beauty routines, used to alter the natural texture of hair to provide the user with straight hair as well as to make it more manageable. While these products promise beautiful hair styling results, they contain a cocktail of strong chemicals, including sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, and guanidine carbonate. These chemicals work by breaking down the protein structure of the hair, allowing it to be reshaped. However, they are also capable of causing harm beyond the scalp including hair loss, hair damage, and health hazards.

As the prevalence of uterine cancer among users of hair relaxers has become more apparent, a rising tide of lawsuits has emerged. These legal actions allege that manufacturers of hair relaxers failed to adequately warn consumers about the potential health risks associated with the toxic chemicals found in their products. For more information about the potential link between hair relaxers and endometrial and uterine cancers, review the information on our website below.

If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine cancer and have a history of using hair relaxers or receiving hair straightening treatments, it’s essential to understand the potential link and your legal rights. The Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm, with our team of experienced hair relaxer uterine cancer attorneys, is prepared to provide the information you need and to represent your interests in a hair relaxer uterine cancer lawsuit. Take the first step towards seeking justice by contacting us today for a free consultation.

Evidence of the Link Between Hair Relaxers and Uterine Cancer

The link between the use of hair relaxers and the incidence of uterine cancer is an alarming issue that is gaining attention in the medical and legal fields. This association has been highlighted in several medical studies, providing a basis for the surge in hair relaxer uterine cancer lawsuits. Currently, the law does not require hair dyes or hair relaxers to be approved by FDA Regulations or by any other consumer safety group before they are sold in stores even though they contain toxic chemicals.

The Role of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)

Hair relaxers, often used by African American and black women, contain harmful cancer-causing chemicals known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Endocrine disruptors (EDSs), such as phthalates and sodium hydroxide, are common in these hair care products. These chemicals can interfere with the body’s hormonal functions and potentially trigger harmful cell growth, leading to various medical conditions, including uterine cancer and endometrial cancer.

Scientific Studies Establishing the Connection

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a study suggesting that exposure to the chemicals in hair relaxers and straighteners may contribute to a higher risk of uterine cancer. This research has been instrumental in raising awareness about the risks associated with these products, especially for women of color.

In a similar vein, a study led by Dr. Alexandra White of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) found that African American and black women who frequently used hair straightening products or chemical hair relaxers were at a higher risk of developing both breast and uterine cancers.

The Risks Factor Among African American Women

These research findings show a higher correlation among African American women, primarily because they are more frequent users of hair relaxers. Consequently, black women face a higher exposure to these dangerous chemicals, leading to an increased incidence rate of uterine cancer.