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W&L Taking Cases of Uterine or Ovarian Cancer Caused by Hair Relaxers

November 30, 2022
Home Firm News W&L Taking Cases of Uterine or Ovarian Cancer Caused by Hair Relaxers

Weitz & Luxenberg is accepting cases from women who got cancer by using chemical hair products designed to relax and straighten their hair. Lawsuits are already being filed against the large corporations creating and marketing these dangerous products. This includes many major cosmetics companies in the hair and beauty industries.

Reach out to us if you used hair relaxers and were diagnosed with:

  • Uterine cancer.
  • Endometrial cancer.
  • Ovarian cancer.

Some of the chemicals found in hair straighteners could be contributing factors in increased risk of developing uterine cancer, according to researchers. These chemicals include parabens, bisphenol A, metals, and formaldehyde. In fact, “Chemical exposure from hair product use, especially straighteners, could be more concerning than other personal care products due to increased absorption through the scalp which may be exacerbated by burns and lesions caused by straighteners.” (1)

Dangerous products in the chemicals themselves: include formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing chemicals, oxidized para-phenylenediamine, 4-aminobiphenyl, and others. The hair product labels do not warn that cancer is a possible risk of use.

Hair Straightening Chemicals and Cancer

Certain hair products may contain toxic chemicals with “endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic properties.” These chemicals can disrupt and potentially harm your hormones, found a recent study released by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. (2)

Previous studies have also linked chemical hair product use with a higher risk of hormone-sensitive cancers including uterine and ovarian. (3)

In addition to the built-in dangers of certain chemicals, heating processes can release or change how the chemicals break down. These processes can lead to a greater risk of breathing in or otherwise being exposed to dangerous chemicals. Examples would be using a flat iron or blow drying your hair while performing hair straightening treatments. (4)

Hair Relaxing Products and Formaldehyde

Hair smoothing or straightening “products are used to straighten hair or to smooth out curls.” A special hair straightening or smoothing solution is typically applied to your hair. Then, a heat treatment of one kind or another seals the solution in. (5)

“These products often contain formaldehyde, also known as formalin and methylene glycol. When the solution is heated, the formaldehyde in the products is released into the air as a gas. If the salon is not properly ventilated, both the salon professionals and their clients are at risk of inhaling the released formaldehyde,” notes the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). (6)

Estrogen and Progesterone Imbalances

Imbalances in a woman’s hormones have been linked to uterine, endometrial, and ovarian cancer. A key risk factor for uterine cancer is too much estrogen, combined with an overall hormonal imbalance of estrogen and progesterone. (7)

Studies suggest “synthetic estrogenic compounds such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals” can increase your risk of uterine cancer. These chemicals can disrupt how hormones work in your body. (8)

Gynecologic Cancers

Uterine cancer is the most common cancer affecting women’s reproductive organs. In 2022 alone, it is estimated nearly 66,000 women are being diagnosed with this disease. And the incidence rate in the United States is climbing, “particularly among Black women.” (9)

Black and Latina Women and Dangers of Relaxer Perms

In one study, Black women reported their frequent use of hair relaxer perms and straightening products. “Frequent” was defined as more than four times in a year. Women who used hair straightening products frequently “were more than twice as likely” to develop uterine cancer than women who did not use these products. (10)

The study suggests frequency of use — not race — may be an important risk factor in if you develop uterine cancer. Results indicated Black women may not only use these products more frequently but also begin using these products “at earlier ages than other races and ethnicities.” (11)

Since many Hispanic women also use relaxers with some frequency, they are likely at risk of the same dangers.

Hair Product Companies Must Be Held Accountable

Manufacturers of chemical hair products must be held accountable for distributing products that can potentially hurt you. You have a right to know if the products you’re using are safe.

Any and all safety precautions and warnings should be clearly indicated on the product label information. There is no cancer warning on the majority of hair care products.

And you should be warned specifically about the dangers linked to chemical hair straightening products. In some instances, labels may be misleading. Dangerous chemicals may not be listed. Instead, toxic chemicals may fall under misleading labels such as “fragrance” or other vague terms.

Hair Relaxer Lawsuits

You may be one of the thousands of women across the country who has been affected. Anyone who has developed uterine, endometrial, and ovarian cancers following longtime and frequent use of chemical hair straightening products, should contact us.

Women who self-identify as Black, teens, pregnant women, and salon workers may be exposed to toxic chemicals from hair straightening products more frequently than other population groups. If so, your risk for gynecologic cancers may be greater.

If you had known about the dangers, you might not have purchased or used these hair straightening products. Therefore, you should be eligible for compensation for any your injuries you have suffered.

W&L Helps Clients Exposed to Toxic Chemicals

There is no charge for your initial consultation. We can help you consider your legal options.

Our experienced team of litigators has won more than $19 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. This includes multiple settlements for clients exposed to toxic chemicals and defective products.

Reach out to us today, so we can help you get the justice you deserve after using these dangerous hair products.

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