Compensation for Women Having Developed Uterine or Ovarian Cancer from Regular Use of Chemical or Lye Hair Straighteners or Relaxers
Zamler, Shiffman, and Karfis Toxic Department, who has been successfully handling toxic chemical exposure cases for more than 50 years, is providing this important bulletin to advise the women of Michigan of this significant health crisis, and as to how they can protect their legal rights. Our experienced attorneys can be reached at 1-800-Lawyers, or (248) 557-1155 and will advise you as to how to effectively protect your rights. It is important to remember that there are time requirements for filing such claims or suits. The call is free and our advice may prove to be priceless.
Who May Be Entitled to Compensation?
You may be entitled to financial compensation if you have used such products for four years or longer, at least five times per year, and after your use of such products you have developed:
- Uterine Cancer – endometrial, or sarcoma
- Ovarian Cancer – epithelial, germ cell, or stomal
- Uterine fibroids
What Are Hair Relaxers or Straighteners?
Hair Relaxers (“Relaxers”) contain chemicals that are formulated to temporarily straighten hair by breaking down hair strands’ protein bonds making the strands more porous and allowing the chemicals to deeply penetrate the strand’s shaft. They are used to straighten thick or curly hair or to make hair look longer.
Medical Studies Linking the Use of Hair Straighteners or Relaxers to Cancer and Other Female Reproductive Diseases
Recent studies suggest that some of these chemicals may be endocrine disruptors (“EDC’S”) which adversely affect the endocrine system’s normal production, storing, and secreting of hormones, especially estrogen. The chemicals of these products may be directly absorbed through the scalp or through cuts, abrasions, or burns on the scalp. Some of these chemicals, such as parabens, nitrosamines, bisphenol A, metals, and formaldehyde have been linked to cancer and others have estrogen-like properties which may promote cancer.
Recent medical studies have raised a grave concern as to the dangers of the long-term use of such products. A study by the NIESHS Environmental and Cancer Epidemiology group concluded that Black women who regularly use such products have between 2 to 3 times greater risk of developing uterine cancer by age 70 versus those who infrequently, or never used such products. According to a recent study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (“NCI”), Black women who have used relaxers for four years or more before age 30 have an 80% higher chance of developing uterine cancer than those who never used them. The study also concluded that Black women who used chemical relaxers had a 60% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. A 2019 NCI study found that women who used hair relaxers and permanent dyes were 9% more likely to develop breast cancer. Data from the NCI shows a significant increase in uterine cancer, the most common cancer affecting the female reproductive system, since 2000, particularly among Black women. Most uterine cancers are endometrium, developing in the interior of the uterus.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, which are generally associated with uterine cancer, you should immediately seek medical attention: vaginal bleeding between periods in pre-menopausal women, vaginal bleeding or spotting after menopause, lower abdominal pain or pelvic cramping, vaginal discharge in postmenopausal women, prolonged, heavy or frequent vaginal bleeding in women over 40. Cancer survival rates are higher for cancers that are detected in their earlier stages.
There is increasing data indicating that the use of relaxers is associated with the development of uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are benign, non-cancerous growth, in or on the uterine. Their development is associated with higher levels of estrogen. They typically appear in women between the ages of 20 to 50, when estrogen levels are at their highest. Studies have found that Black women have a 9-times greater risk of developing such fibroids as opposed to white women.
Studies additionally suggest a potential link between chemical relaxers and endometriosis. It is believed chemicals in the relaxers may be able to mimic the hormones which promote endometriosis. Evidence also suggests that these chemicals may damage the lining of the uterus, making it more susceptible to endometriosis.