What Is the Link Between Hair Relaxers and Cancer?
A recent study from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (which is a part of U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH)) was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on October 17, 2022. The study found that women who use chemical hair straighteners and/or hair relaxers may have a significant increased risk of uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine fibroids. Specifically, the study revealed that women who used these products four or more times per year were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer than those who did not.
This study is particularly alarming for African-American women, who have historically used these products more than any other group of consumers. According to the study, approximately 60% of women who reported using chemical hair relaxer products in the previous 12 months self-identified as African-American. Given this study, it should be of no surprise that uterine cancer diagnosis and death rates are significantly higher amongst African-American women than others.
Key Points of the Study:
- The study consisted of 33,947 racially and ethnically diverse women between the ages of 35-74 who had a uterus when they enrolled.
- The study was conducted over 11 years.
- Each woman was asked about their use of hair products in the previous 12 months, including hair dyes, hair relaxers, or pressing products and permanents or body waves.
- Women who reported frequent use of hair relaxers using hair relaxers were about 2.5 times more likely to develop uterine cancer than those who did not use the products. Frequent use is defined as more than four times in the previous 12 months.
- Researchers found no similar link between uterine cancer and other hair products such as dyes, highlights, or perms.
Which Hair Relaxer Products Are Being Investigated for Potential Lawsuits?
The following brands of hair relaxers and straighteners are currently being investigated:
- Dark & Lovely
- Soft & Beautiful
- Optimum Care
- Crème of Nature
- Just for Me
- ORS Olive Oil
- Brazilian Blow Out
Additional brands may soon be added to the list. Concerning ingredients of these brands include formaldehyde and/or phthalates.
What Type of Injuries from Hair Relaxer Products Are We Investigating?
While hair relaxer and straighteners may be linked to a variety of reproductive injuries, we are currently focusing our investigation on the following injuries:
- Uterine Cancer. The two types of uterine cancer are endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma. Endometrial cancer is more common than uterine sarcoma.
- Ovarian Cancer. This cancer deals with abnormal cell growth in the ovaries. Signs and symptoms or ovarian cancer may include fatigue, back pain, weight loss, bloating, swelling, or a sense of fullness in the abdomen, pain and discomfort in the pelvic region, and constipation.
- Uterine Fibroids. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus, also commonly referred to as leiomyomas or myomas. While uterine fibroids usually do not develop into cancer, they can often lead to symptoms that include frequent urination, heavy menstrual flows, extended menstrual periods lasting more than seven days, pelvic pain and discomfort, constipation, and/or difficulty emptying the bladder. However, many women have uterine fibroids without knowing it, as many women experience no symptoms.
- Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrium — which is the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus — grows on the outside of the uterus. This condition usually causes pain, especially during menstrual periods, and can also be associated with fertility problems.
Has a Settlement Been Reached for Lawsuits Involving Hair Relaxer Products?
As of early 2023, litigation involving hair relaxer products is in the initial phases. Lawsuits have already been filed and many more lawsuits are expected to filed in the near future. No settlements have been reached regarding these lawsuits.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Attorney for a Hair Relaxer Product Lawsuit?
We only charge legal fees and costs if we make a recovery for you (either by settlement or through a verdict). This allows potential clients to undergo a confidential, free case review. Our clients are only charged an attorney’s fee if we win your case.
Were You Harmed by Hair Relaxer Products? Call Belt, Bruner & Barnett PC Today
If you used a hair relaxer product and suffered reproductive injuries such as any of the cancers mentioned above, you could pursue compensation for your damages. The personal injury attorneys of Belt, Bruner & Barnett PC are ready to hear your story and explain your options.
Our firm offers no-cost, risk-free consultations injury victims across the state of Alabama. To set up your free consult, complete our online contact form or call (844) 777-1491 today.