Hair Straightening Products and Potential Health Risks
The Connection Between Hair Straightening Products and Ovarian, Uterine, and Endometrial Cancers
At the Mancini Law Group P.C., we understand the growing concerns about the safety of personal care products, including hair straightening treatments, and their potential health risks. One area of concern that has garnered attention in recent years is the potential link between the use of certain hair straightening products and the development of ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and endometrial cancer. This page aims to provide an overview of this topic and address common questions. If you would like a no cost Consultation, please call the Mancini Law Group P.C. at 773-745-1909
Marketing Narrative Pressuring Black Women to use Hair Straightening Products
Many hair straightening products, particularly certain keratin treatments, contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing compounds. Formaldehyde is a strong-smelling gas that can be released into the air when these products are heated during the straightening process.
Formaldehyde is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). This classification means that there is sufficient evidence to support that formaldehyde exposure can increase the risk of developing cancer.
Ovarian Cancer, Uterine Cancer, and Endometrial Cancer
On October 17, 2022, this National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) study revealed that women who used chemical hair straighteners suffered a higher rate of uterine cancer compared to individuals who did not use these products. The study involved 33,497 U.S. women ages 35-74. The women were followed on average for nearly 11 years. During this period, 378 uterine cancer cases were diagnosed. Women who used hair straightening products more than four times in the year prior to enrollment were twice as likely to develop uterine cancer compared with the women who did not use the products. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
On October 5, 2021, the journal Carcinogenesis published results from a study of 40,559 women. Participants completed questionnaires on hair product use, including straighteners/relaxers. “Over a mean follow-up of 10 years, 241 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Frequent use (>4 times/year) of straighteners/relaxers or pressing products in the year prior to enrollment was associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer (HR = 2.19, 95% CI: 1.12-4.27),” the authors reported. Carcinogenesis
Many countries have regulatory standards and guidelines in place to control the use of formaldehyde in personal care products, including hair straightening treatments. Manufacturers are often required to disclose the presence of formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing agents in their products. The Food and Drug Administration has proposed banning hair-straightening products that contain or emit formaldehyde, more than a decade after the cosmetic industry's own experts declared the products unsafe.
Safety Precautions and Your Legal Rights
If you have concerns about the safety of hair straightening products, it is essential to be informed and take appropriate safety precautions when using these products. Follow recommended safety measures, such as using products in well-ventilated areas, wearing protective gear, and adhering to product instructions.
If you developed uterine or ovarian cancer from regular, prolonged use of hair straighteners and/or relaxers, our lawyers will work to recover your losses, including:
- Costs of past and future medical treatment
- Past and future lost wages
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
If a loved one died from uterine cancer or ovarian cancer after regular, prolonged use of these types of products, we will file a wrongful death action on their behalf.
At the Mancini Law Group P.C., we are here to provide guidance and legal support for individuals who may be affected by the use of hair straightening products. If you have questions or concerns about potential health risks associated with these products, we encourage you to reach out to our legal team at 773-745-1909 for a consultation.