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Chemical Hair Treatments Cause Fatal Cancers: Things Women Should Know 

Chemical Hair Treatments Cause Fatal Cancers: Things Women Should Know

Women love to flaunt fashionable hairstyles. They want to chemically straighten their hair, as it’s considered chic by hair stylists and fashion icons. But those few hours spent in hair salons chemically treating your hair can lead to years of medical treatment to remedy fatal cancers.

In the last 10 years, researchers have alerted women about the probable dangers of chemical hair relaxers. Hair straightening products have been linked to cancer, mostly among black women. The FDA had been planning to propose a ban on the hazardous ingredients used in chemical hair creams and straighteners.

Dede K. Teteh, who is an assistant professor at Chapman University, said that it’s time that the FDA implemented this ban. Under the proposed rule, formaldehyde, a toxic chemical present in hair relaxers, should be banned. The date fixed for the ban was April 2024. 

In this article, we will discuss the health hazards of hair relaxers and crucial facts women should know about chemical hair treatments.

FDA’s Concern With Formaldehyde

In October 2023, the New York Times reported that certain hair relaxers, keratin treatments, and blowouts contain formaldehyde. It is also present in hair styling products that are marketed to black women. A few “formaldehyde-free” labeled products also release this chemical.

The FDA has been warning women since 2010 regarding the health hazards of this chemical exposure in salons that are poorly ventilated, where the gas builds up in the air. When inhaled, formaldehyde can cause wheezing and coughing and worsen asthma in women. 

According to Tracey Woodruff, a professor at the University of California, the FDA has cited breathing problems as an after-effect of this chemical exposure. It can irritate the skin and make your eyes and nose sting. Women exposed to this chemical may also witness headaches, dizziness, nausea, chest pain, and vomiting.

The Environmental Protection Agency revealed that when exposed to increased levels of formaldehyde, women can suffer from bronchitis. Hence, Woodruff states that anyone who experiences any of these health conditions and a negative reaction after a chemical hair treatment shouldn’t repeat it. Women can also report the problems they face to the FDA.

In extreme cases, hair relaxers have been linked to an increased risk of ovarian, breast, and uterine cancer. It is again true, mostly for black women. If you have developed any of these cancers after chemically straightening your hair, you can file a hair relaxer lawsuit and seek the compensation you deserve to cover your medical expenses.

Hair Relaxers and Brain Cancer: Is There a Link?

Recently, researchers at KEMRI (Kenya Medical Research Institute) have found out that formaldehyde, which is a dangerous neurotoxin, can cause brain cancer and affect memory. The institute’s toxicology report revealed eight fatal hair relaxers. However, the researchers did not mention the brand names in the report. The KEMRI study revealed that six of these relaxers were manufactured in Kenya and two were in South Africa and Uganda.

The researchers identified 11 COCs (chemicals of concern) in all eight hair relaxers. Sodium hydroxide and petrolatum were present in most of the products, along with isoeugenol and formaldehyde. The increasing number of cancer cases in Embu County is what led to this investigation. The study also revealed that the use of hair products and PCPs (personal care products), for instance, chemical relaxers and permanent hair dyes, increased the risk of breast cancer.

Nearly, 366 women between the age groups of 15 and 50 took part in a questionnaire-based study. It evaluated the participating members’ sociodemographic features, the use of PCPs and hair products for about two weeks, as well as chemical relaxers and hair dyes. It was finally revealed that the harsh chemicals contained in these products get absorbed into the skin, resulting in allergic reactions and fatal cancers.

Navigating the Legal Path

If you have developed cancer or any other chronic health condition after a chemical hair treatment, you should seek legal recourse.

TorHoerman Law states that it is essential to consult a lawyer and share your case history. They will review the case and other details available and let you know if you are eligible to file a lawsuit. After that, they will use the necessary pieces of evidence and develop a strong case to ensure you receive fair compensation to cover your economic and non-economic damages.

In conclusion, women across the globe should be careful about the hair treatments they use. Chemical hair straightening might appear appealing on the surface, but it leads to life-threatening health conditions, including cancer. It is always important to look at hair treatments that don’t have any side effects. However, if you have physically suffered after any chemical hair treatment, you need to seek both medical and legal aid. 

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