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Parabens in hair relaxers

Although many cosmetics companies market their chemical hair relaxers as safe for regular use, enriched with natural ingredients such as Shea Butter and Olive Oil, a mix of toxic chemicals known as parabens can be found in most of these hair straighteners.

Parabens are a group of chemicals commonly used as artificial preservatives in cosmetic products to prevent the growth of microorganisms - bacteria, mold - since cosmetics contain various biodegradable ingredients.

The concern with these chemicals is that they are absorbed into the body through the skin, mimic estrogen in the body and disrupt the normal function of the endocrine system affecting the functioning of the reproductive system. The U.N. Environment Program has identified parabens as potential endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Scientific studies - Byford 2002, Kim 2011, Vo 2011, Vo 2010 - have reported the estrogenic activity of parabens.

The most commonly used parabens in cosmetic products are:

  • methylparaben
  • propylparaben
  • butylparaben
  • ethylparaben
  • isopropylparaben
  • isobutylparaben

Parabens have been used in cosmetic products since the 1920s. These chemicals are often used in combination, therefore when you look at the beauty products ingredient labels, you'll see more than one paraben listed. Methylparaben, ethyl, and butylparaben are among the ingredients of 72% of hair care products.

Endocrine-disruptive parabens in hair relaxers

Scientists are concerned about the exposure to endocrine-disrupting parabens that lurk in chemical hair relaxers. In addition to causing skin irritation, these toxic chemicals have a hormone-disrupting effect that impacts the endocrine system, the reproductive organs and increases hormone-sensitive cancer risk such as:

A study conducted by researchers at the Silent Spring Institute was the first to measure concentrations of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hair products marketed to Black women. The findings could help researchers understand why Black women have higher exposures to certain harmful chemicals than women from other ethnicities. Certain hair care products, such as moisturizers and hair straighteners, are more commonly used by Black women.

Hair care products used by Black women and children contain multiple chemicals associated with endocrine disruption, and the prevalence of parabens is consistent with higher levels of these compounds in biomonitoring samples from Black women compared with Caucasian women. A preventive action could be reducing endocrine-disrupting chemicals in personal care products and accurate labeling so women can purchase and use products consistent with their values.

Our team of experts can help you file a toxic hair relaxer claim

Regardless of what chemical hair relaxer products you used over the years if you were diagnosed with hormone-sensitive ovarian or uterine cancer, there might be a correlation. Therefore, please get in touch with Atraxia Law for a free case evaluation over the phone.

With over 35 years of experience helping victims of toxic exposure, we can determine whether you are eligible to file a toxic hair relaxer claim against the responsible manufacturers. You might be entitled to compensation if you frequently use hair relaxers that contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals and you have a diagnosis of ovarian or uterine cancer. If you meet the eligibility requirements, we will put you in contact with an excellent attorney specializing in toxic exposure cases.

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