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Possible connection between hair straightening chemicals and cancer risk

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2023 | Product Liability

A major new study has a troubling message for women in Texas who use hair-straightening products. According to the study, women who regularly use these products are more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer.

The study is based on more than ten years of data tracking the health of nearly 34,000 American women aged 35 to 74. Over the study period, a total of 378 of the women developed cancer of the uterus. Though the overall risk of uterine cancer was low, it appears that even the occasional use of hair-straightening chemicals increases it.

About 4 percent of subjects who used one of these products on their hair more than four times per year were diagnosed with uterine cancer at some point — more than 2.5 times as often as subjects who never used the products. Even one use per year represented a 1.18 percent increased cancer risk. It could be that substances like formaldehyde, metals and parabens in the hair products contribute to the danger.

Unique danger for Black women?

The study did not find an increased risk for any particular race or ethnicity. But since Black women tend to straighten their hair more often, the report might have special significance for them.

Still in the early stages

This study is just one step in the process of establishing a conclusive connection between hair-straightening chemicals and uterine cancer. But if researchers eventually prove a link, it could explain thousands of cases of cancer in American women. And it could mean the manufacturers would be liable for the cost of those women’s medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. Product liability law can be complex, but an attorney who practices in that field can answer your questions and help you understand your rights.