NIH Study Links Hair Relaxer to Higher Risk for Uterine Cancer
The Sister Study , led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), examined a cohort of 33,497 women ages 35 to 74 over a period of 11 years to look at risk factors for breast cancer and other health problems. At least 378 participants were diagnosed with uterine cancer over the course of the study, the researchers found.
Participants who used hair relaxers more than 4 times in the previous year were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with uterine cancer compared with those who did not use the products. The study contains the first epidemiological evidence linking the use of hair straighteners and uterine cancer, though the authors say additional research into the types of chemicals behind the link is needed.
The study did not find any association between cancer and other hair products, such as hair dyes, bleach, highlights, or perms.
Related Article: Hair Relaxer Uterine Cancer Lawsuit
Woman Claims L'Oreal Chemical Relaxers Caused Cancer: FOX News Video
What Dangerous Chemicals are in Hair Relaxer Products?
Chemical hair relaxers and hair straighteners use phthalates, or plasticizers, to create a “softer” feel to the product. However, studies have found that these chemicals may disrupt the functioning of the endocrine system, which controls the production of hormones. In fact, phthalates are known as “endocrine-disrupting chemicals (“EDCs”) due to their effect on the body.
Hair relaxers are applied to the base of the hair and come into direct contact with the scalp. It is common for those who use hair relaxers and straighteners to develop “burns” from the products. Phthalates can seep into the body through the openings caused by the burns.
Related Article: Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuit
Did L'Oreal Know its Hair Relaxers Contained Toxic Chemicals?
There is evidence that shows L’Oréal was aware of the harmful effects of the phthalates used in its hair relaxers as early as 2015. However, FDA regulations specified that L’Oréal was not required to obtain prior approval before releasing the products to market. Additionally, hair product manufacturers are not required to list each ingredient contained in their products and instead refer to them as “fragrance” or “perfume” ingredients.
Therefore, those who purchased L’Oréal hair relaxers were unaware that the product contained toxic chemicals that could cause cancer. However, L’Oréal apparently knew that its products contained dangerous phthalates and that these chemicals can lead to cancer, which is the basis of the new lawsuit filed against the company.
Specifically, Plaintiff Jenny Mitchell alleges that L’Oréal “actively and intentionally concealed and/or suppressed material facts, in whole or in part, to induce consumers, including Plaintiff, to purchase and use the Products and did so at her expense.”
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids (also called leiomyomas) are growths made up of the muscle and connective tissue from the wall of the uterus. Fibroids can grow as a single nodule (one growth) or in a cluster. Fibroid clusters can range in size from 1 mm to more than 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter or even larger, roughly the size of a watermelon. These growths can develop within the wall of the uterus, inside the main cavity of the organ, or even on the outer surface.
Uterine Fibroid Symptoms
In women who have symptoms, the most common signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Menstrual periods lasting more than a week
- Pelvic pressure or pain
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Backache or leg pains
What Happens if You Have Uterine Fibroids?
If uterine fibroids grow very large, they can cause a woman's abdomen to bulge like a pregnancy and press on nearby organs, causing pelvic pressure, frequent urination, or difficulty passing bowel movements. In some cases, fibroids can make it difficult to get pregnant or cause problems during pregnancy or childbirth.
How Common are Fibroids?
According to the Office on Women’s Health, up to 80% of women develop uterine fibroids at some point during their life. Some women suffer intensely from uterine fibroid pain and excessive bleeding, while others don’t even know they have the growth.
When Do Fibroids Need to be Treated?
If uterine fibroids are asymptomatic, medical intervention is probably not required. However, if your fibroids are causing pain or other problems, treatments are available, depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines can help to temporarily control bleeding and pain from fibroids, but will not eliminate or shrink them. The surgical intervention seems to be the most effective way to get relief.
What Happens if you don't Remove Fibroids?
If left untreated, uterine fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number. As the tumors take over the uterus, pain and other symptoms will become increasingly worse. The heavy bleeding will become heavier and it may be accompanied by severe cramping.
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Get a Free Hair Relaxer Uterine Fibroids Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Products Liability Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in hair relaxer uterine fibroids lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one was diagnosed with uterine cancer (endometrial cancer or uterine sarcoma) or ovarian cancer (epithelial, germ cell, stomal) after using hair straighteners or hair relaxers, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Hair Relaxer Uterine Fibroids Lawsuit and our attorneys can help.