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Dealing With Health Issues Caused By a Hair Straightener Chemical: Mass Tort Causing Uterine Cancer Incidence

Missouri law firm Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien compiled the guide: “Hair Straightener Chemical Mass Tort Causing Uterine Cancer.” For more information, call now!

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Chemical Hair Straightener Mass Tort Lawsuit

In October 2022, the National Institute of Health (NIH) published the results of their study on some chemicals used in chemical hair straighteners, also known as relaxers, in the journal of the National Cancer Institute. According to the study, women who straightened their hair were more likely to develop uterine cancer than those who did not.

In response to these results, several lawsuits were filed by women who claimed to have suffered health complications, including uterine cancer, breast cancer, fibroids, and endometriosis.

If you are a frequent user of such hair straightening products in Missouri and you’ve been diagnosed with any of the above-mentioned illnesses, you might have a cause of action against the producer or offending company. You can contact experienced Missouri personal injury lawyers to learn your options.

What Is the Hair Straightener Mass Tort Incidence? 

According to recent NIH research, women who reported frequent usage of hair straighteners, up to four or more times a year, were twice as prone to developing uterine cancer than those who did not use the products. 

The results show that black women are disproportionately affected by these products in the United States, because they are the major consumers of hair relaxers and chemical straighteners. They also have the highest death rates from uterine cancer and breast cancer compared to women of other ethnicities.

The first chemical hair straightener lawsuit in Missouri came soon after the NIH published its findings in 2022. It was filed by Jennifer Mitchell, who had a hysterectomy after discovering she had uterine cancer in 2018.

According to her suit, she used chemical hair straighteners for over 20 years. She instituted a mass tort lawsuit against a few offending companies, including L’Oreal.

Because there is evidence that these products have harmed numerous people, the damage qualifies as a mass tort, and Ms. Mitchell’s suit might be the first of many mass tort suits on the issue.

In a mass tort suit, more affected parties can join the case as injured parties or plaintiffs, even if one person originally started it. You can talk to your personal injury lawyer about the possibility of suing the companies whose products you believe contributed to your developing uterine cancer or joining Ms. Mitchell’s lawsuit if you have suffered from uterine or breast cancer from using these hair products.

Basis of the Product Liability Case Against Chemical Straightener Manufacturers

 

The strength of product liability suits such as this is hinged on two issues:

  • That the manufacturer knew or should have known about the potential dangers of using their products

  • That they did not provide adequate warning about it to the consumers.

Consequently, this mass tort fulfills these two conditions, especially since many hair straightening product manufacturers recommend using them every 6 to 8 weeks. As a result of following this regimen, you are already at risk, as you are already using hair straighteners 6 times per year, which makes you a frequent user, according to the research.

Which Cancer-Causing Chemicals Are Used in Hair Straightening Products?

 

According to the NIH study, chemicals like bisphenol A, parabens, fragrances, formaldehyde, phthalates, and metals, have been found in chemical hair straightening products. These chemicals are known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), meaning they interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system.

In humans, the endocrine system regulates many bodily functions and overall health through the secretion of hormones. When the system is disrupted or interfered with, it can produce excess or little of the hormones it is supposed to, which can mess up bodily functions. 

Uterine cancer usually develops due to high estrogen levels in the body compared to progesterone. A healthy endocrine system manages to balance the two hormones, but with the introduction of any EDC into the body, they may go out of balance. The result is uterine cancer and other potential health issues, including breast cancer, obesity, and diabetes.

Other factors can cause these illnesses, such as genetics, which might make it difficult to establish a link between your cancer and your hair straighteners. But with the results of the NIH study, the job is half done, and the simple presence of carcinogenic chemicals in your hair straightening products could be potential grounds for compensation from the manufacturer.

Other Injuries Caused By Hair Straightener Products

 

Besides uterine cancer, chemical hair straighteners can lead to many other physical injuries, including burns to the scalp. The NIH research reveals that these burns may facilitate the absorption of harmful chemicals into the body, eventually leading to uterine cancer.

 

Who Can Bring a Lawsuit Against a Hair Straightener Company

 

To be eligible to file a chemical hair straightener lawsuit and get compensation, you may need to show that you’re a frequent user of chemical hair straightening products, which means you use the products at least four times each year. You’ll also need to show that you developed hormone-related cancer like breast, ovarian, or uterine cancer. 

It would help if you’re an ongoing user of the offending product(s) or stopped using them recently. Otherwise, your case might be affected by the statute of limitations, which could affect your chances in court.

So, it is important that you act quickly and take steps as soon as you realize the harmful effects of your chemical hair straighteners on your body. You can contact an attorney for help and guidance if you’re unsure how to proceed.

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