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Are hair straightening chemicals really linked to cancer?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2023 | Toxic Torts

Occasionally, products that people use for years turn out to be unsafe despite the trust that consumers place in the companies that manufacture and distribute them. Perhaps the most infamous example is tobacco, as it took decades for the truth about the association between tobacco use and cancer to become widespread public knowledge.

In recent years, numerous popular products that turned out to be less safe than consumers previously thought them to be. There have been multiple lawsuits related to talcum powders marketed as bath products and also lawsuits related to certain agricultural chemicals. Some people have started to talk about hair straightening chemicals and their association with cancer. As a result, many consumers understandably want to know if there is any known link between hair relaxers and human cancer.

The federal government has affirmed the connection

Although the relationship between frequent hair straightening and cancer was long just a theory, research has made the correlation much clearer. In fact, the National Institute of Health has even published research online showing that those who straighten their hair multiple times this year are at noticeably increased risk for uterine cancer.

Most hair treatments don’t have a known association with cancer, but the chemicals used to straighten or relax naturally curly or wavy hair can eventually lead to illness. Those who use these products for years and then end up diagnosed with cancer later in life may have grounds for a lawsuit against the manufacturer in some cases.

Toxic torts help protect consumers

Those exposed to dangerous chemicals that make them sick later in life sometimes have the right to take legal action against the company that endangered them. Employers can face lawsuits from workers when they don’t protect their employees from dangerous substances like asbestos. Businesses that release products to the public could face consumer lawsuits because their customers ended up sickened by using their products.

Those diagnosed with uterine cancer or who recently lost a loved one because of uterine cancer may benefit from learning more about the growing body of evidence connecting certain kinds of cancer to hair relaxers. Pursuing toxic torts or defective product claims can allow those who have been harmed by consumer goods to hold businesses legally and financially accountable for their inadequate safety practices.