Chemical hair straightening products have long been popular among women for achieving sleek, straight hair. However, a recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) study has highlighted the potential link between these hair relaxers and uterine cancer. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute study, published on October 17, 2022, analyzed data from over 33,000 women participating in the Sister Study to identify risk factors for various female health conditions.
After nearly 11 years of follow-up, the study found that women who used hair straightening products with harmful chemicals had a higher risk of developing uterine cancer. Women who, on average, used hair straightening products more than four times in one year were at least twice as likely to develop uterine cancer than those who did not use straightening products.
The study focused on hair straighteners and did not establish links between uterine cancer and other hair products like dyes, highlights, and perms. Researchers believe certain chemicals present in hair straighteners might be absorbed through the scalp, possess estrogen-like properties in the body, and potentially contribute to the increased risk of uterine cancer.
The study did not delve into specific brands or ingredients in hair products used by the participants. However, the researchers noted that several chemicals in hair straighteners might contribute to the heightened risk of uterine cancer, such as formaldehyde.
The study also shed light on the prevalence of hair straightener use among self-identified black women, who made up approximately 60% of the participants from the study. While the study did not find a significant correlation between straightener use and uterine cancer incidence based on race, it is essential to note that the adverse health effects may be more significant for black women due to their higher prevalence of using these products.
While this study provides valuable insights, it does not conclusively establish a causal relationship. Uterine cancer is relatively rare, and this study does not definitively conclude that hair straighteners cause uterine cancer. Further research is needed to clarify this potential link.
The study’s findings highlight the importance of considering the impact of chemical exposure on personal care products and the need for further research in this area. In the meantime, individuals can take proactive steps to prioritize their health and well-being by making informed choices about hair care products.
Even if there is not yet a firm connection between hair relaxer products and certain cancers, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit if you sustained harm after using them. Contact the experienced product liability attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos and Newlin to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help.
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