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Uterine cancer linked to toxic hair relaxers

According to experts, by 2030, uterine cancer will most likely become the third most prevalent cancer among women.

Uterine cancer is the most common type of cancer of the female reproductive system, with over 65,000 estimated new cases in 2022.  The majority of uterine cancers are endometrial cancers, which start in the endometrium, the mucous membrane lining of the uterus. Uterine cancer is quite common in women over 50, but according to a recent NIH study, it can develop earlier in women who regularly use chemical hair relaxers.

Since these hair care products contain endocrine-disrupting chemical compounds (EDCs) such as parabens, formaldehyde, and phthalates, their regular and prolonged use can lead to estrogen-sensitive uterine cancer.

Uterine cancer typically develops as a consequence of having a high level of estrogen hormone. While the Sister Study conducted by researchers of the National Health Institute didn't show evidence between chemical hair relaxer use and uterine cancer risk differences by race, the effects may be increased for Black women because they're more likely to use these products due to the structure of their hair.

The EDCs in chemical hair relaxers may increase women's risk for uterine cancer

Over the past decades, uterine cancer incidence has been on the rise across the U.S., especially among African-American women, and one of the contributing factors might be the frequent use of chemical hair relaxers, as these products are heavily marketed to Black women and children.

At-home and professional chemical hair relaxer products contain a mix of potentially carcinogenic chemicals such as:

  • formaldehyde
  • parabens
  • bisphenol A
  • cadmium

In 2021 the Level Up campaign group launched a petition calling on cosmetics giants Revlon and L'Oréal to ban the use of the chemical lye, which has been linked to severe health conditions, including uterine cancer.

These chemicals, known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals, can interfere with hormone function and could raise uterine or ovarian cancer risk. According to a recent study conducted by NIH researchers, women who have used hair straightening chemical products may be at higher risk of developing uterine cancer than women who never used such hair care products.

The evidence comes from the Sister Study, a significant research project conducted by the National Institute of Health. The NIH study followed 33,497 women for 11 years to determine whether using various hair care products can influence their uterine cancer risk. The study's results show that the uterine cancer risk for women who have never used hair relaxers is 1.64%, while the risk for those who used such products frequently is 4.05%.

The study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute also states that approximately 60% of the participants who reported using hair relaxers were Black.

Efficient legal help for women struggling with uterine cancer

If you have been using at-home or professional chemical hair relaxers and subsequently developed uterine cancer, we encourage you to contact us. We can efficiently help you determine whether you are eligible to file a hair relaxer claim and obtain financial compensation for your suffering.

When uterine cancer results from chemical hair relaxer use, it usually has a latency of 5 years. The following subtypes of uterine cancer might make a woman eligible to file a claim if she has been using chemical hair relaxer products:

  • endometrial cancer
  • uterine sarcoma

If you have been regularly using chemical hair straightening products and now you are diagnosed with uterine cancer, know that  you have to meet the following eligibility requirements to file a toxic hair relaxer claim:

  • you must have used hair relaxers for at minimum 2-5 years, for at least four times a year
  • you must have a diagnosis of uterine cancer related to toxic exposure

With over 35 years of experience, the team of experts at Atraxia Law will help you determine whether you qualify for compensation from the liable hair relaxer manufacturers. We know that struggling with severe health conditions like cancer can be challenging. Therefore, we will do all in our power to ease the legal process for you by helping you file a toxic hair relaxer claim against the liable manufacturers.

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