Toxic Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Attorney
In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced regulations for hair relaxer manufacturers. The rules require manufacturers to disclose ingredients on the labeling of their products. However, many companies have not followed the requirements, leaving consumers without the information they need to make informed purchases.
If you were diagnosed with cancer, uterine fibroids, or another serious medical condition after using a hair relaxer, do not hesitate to contact Attorney Tom. You might be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer for your medical bills and other expenses. Call us at (713) 244-6363 for your free consultation with an experienced toxic hair relaxer lawsuit attorney today.
The Dangers of Hair Relaxer Products
Hair relaxers loosen the natural curl pattern in the hair shaft by penetrating the cuticle and cortex layers. These relaxers are high-pH systems with a strong alkali. High-pH alkali solutions can break down the keratin in hair.
Hair relaxers also contain high levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). EDCs are substances that interfere with the endocrine system’s normal functioning. Typically, the endocrine system regulates hormones in the body and how they work. EDCs affect how hormones are stored, made, and broken down by increasing or decreasing the levels. That can lead to various medical issues, such as:
- Altered immune function
- Metabolic problems
- Cardiovascular issues
- Respiratory problems
- Altered nervous system
- Impaired quality of sperm
- Reproductive organ abnormalities
- Neurological, growth, and learning disabilities
Phthalates are another toxic chemical in hair relaxers. They’re commonly used in producing certain plastics to improve durability and flexibility. Phthalates have been linked to reproductive issues in women, increasing the risk of miscarriage, fibroids, and endometriosis.
Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a highly toxic chemical. It doesn’t occur naturally in the environment. Instead, it’s a manufactured chemical. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers DEHP a probable human carcinogen. It can cause various adverse health problems, such as reproductive dysfunction, endometriosis, developmental abnormalities, and multiple forms of cancer.
Common Medical Conditions Due to Hair Relaxers
The dangerous chemicals in hair relaxer products can lead to numerous symptoms, illnesses, and medical conditions. The most common issues women report after using hair relaxers include:
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine cancer
- Breast cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Uterine sarcoma
Sarcoma and endometrial cancer are two types of uterine cancer that can develop from exposure to phthalates in hair relaxers. Endometrial cancer is the most common cancer of reproductive organs in females.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 65,950 new cases of cancer affecting the uterus will occur this year. Around 12,550 women will die from a type of uterine cancer.
Scientific research shows using hair relaxer products can increase the risk of breast cancer in women. According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health, women using hair relaxers every five to eight weeks had about a 30 percent increased risk of breast cancer.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder involving tissue similar to the tissue lining the inside of the uterus. The disorder causes the tissue to grow outside the uterus. Researchers believe DEHP in hair relaxers contributes to the development of endometriosis. It can lead to multiple complications, including infertility and ovarian cancer.
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus. Sizes vary from hardly detectable by the human eye to a bulky mass that enlarges and distorts the uterus. One or multiple fibroids can form, causing pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and frequent urination.
Typically, uterine fibroids don’t endanger a woman’s health or life. However, they can cause significant discomfort and lead to complications like anemia.
Studies Linking Cancer to Hair Relaxers
Multiple studies have shown a connection between hair relaxer use and certain cancers. Many women use these products, which can contain dangerous chemicals such as phthalates, DEHP, and formaldehyde. Frequent use and prolonged exposure to these toxic chemicals can cause adverse symptoms and different types of cancer.
Some studies with results that suggest hair relaxers can lead to cancer development include:
- National Institute of Environment Health Sciences (NIEHS) – NIEHS researchers followed 33,497 women between 35 and 74 years of age over a nearly eleven-year period. In that time, 378 participants developed uterine cancer. Researchers discovered women who used hair relaxers frequently were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer than those who didn’t use the products. The head of the NIEHS reported estimates that 1.64 percent of women who never used a hair relaxer product would develop uterine cancer by 70. However, the risk increases to 4.05 percent in frequent users.
- Black Women’s Health Study – Researchers at Boston University studied 59,000 self-identified African American women between the ages of 21 and 69 for 25 years. The participants received a questionnaire every two years about factors influencing their health and new medical diagnoses. Results showed around a 30 percent increased risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in women who used hair products with lye at least seven times a year for 15 years or longer. The association between hair relaxer use and breast cancer risk is minimal with moderate or infrequent use. However, frequent use elevates the risk.
Brands Included in Toxic Hair Relaxer Lawsuits
Multiple companies are responsible for manufacturing, marketing, and selling hair relaxers. Although their products contain dangerous chemicals that can lead to various health problems, they continue supplying them to consumers. The hair relaxer brands potentially liable for uterine cancer, breast cancer, and other adverse conditions include:
- Motions Hair Relaxer
- Just for Me
- ORS Olive Oil
- African Pride
- Soft and Beautiful
- Optimum Care Relaxer
- Africa’s Best
- TCB Naturals Relaxer Crème
- Dark & Lovely
- Crème of Nature
Allegations Against Hair Relaxer Companies
In the lawsuits women have filed against hair relaxer companies, the allegations commonly made include that the companies:
- Provided misleading or false information on labels about the product’s safety
- Failed to research the link between hair relaxers chemicals and the risk of cancer
- Failed to recall products for the potential risk of cancer
- Failed to warn consumers of the dangers associated with the chemicals in hair relaxer products and an increased risk of uterine and breast cancer
- Marketed the products as safe for use despite the adverse health effects
Who Is Eligible to File a Toxic Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?
Using hair relaxers and developing cancer doesn’t necessarily qualify you for a lawsuit against the manufacturer. You must prove your cancer is due to exposure to the toxic chemicals found in the hair relaxer product. You might be able to pursue compensation if you used a hair relaxer regularly or for an extended period and developed a condition, such as:
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine cancer
- Breast cancer
- Uterine sarcoma
- Endometrial cancer
You must also show evidence of using a hair relaxer containing DEHP, phthalates, or another substance linked to cancer and other diseases. Without substantial evidence, proving you are entitled to compensation will be challenging.
Have Hair Relaxers Been Recalled?
Some companies recalled their hair relaxer products. However, the recalls have nothing to do with increased cancer risk.
Loreal recalled some Dark and Lovely Precise Diamond Straight and Shine relaxer products after receiving at least 22 consumer complaints. An isolated production incident caused an imbalance in the active raw material, increasing the risk of scalp irritation and hair breakage.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t oversee the approval of cosmetic products and the ingredients they contain before manufacturers place them on the market. The FDA also can’t force cosmetic companies to pull products from shelves or issue recalls. Typically, market removals and recalls are voluntary. However, the FDA monitors consumer reports of adverse reactions related to products.
The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) regulate cosmetic products. These laws prohibit companies from marketing misbranded or adulterated cosmetics in interstate commerce. Hair relaxer products must not contain harmful or poisonous substances that can injure consumers who use the products according to labeling instructions.
Although laws don’t require manufacturers to submit their products for approval, they must ensure their products are safe for consumers before placing them on the market. The FDA can pursue enforcement action against companies if products don’t comply with the law.
Compensation for Toxic Hair Relaxers
Product liability is a type of personal injury case holding manufacturers liable for producing or selling defective products. You could file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your cancer diagnosis or another medical condition after using hair relaxers.
The money you receive might compensate for your:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Prescription drugs, hospitalization, and other medical expenses
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life
- Mental anguish
You might also recover punitive or exemplary damages in a lawsuit. Laws differ depending on where you live but pursuing exemplary or punitive damages will likely require evidence of the defendant’s gross negligence or fraudulent acts.
Seek Justice with an Experienced Toxic Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Lawyer
You didn’t expect to develop a serious medical condition while using a hair relaxer product. The manufacturer placed profit over consumer safety, endangering your health. Attorney Tom is ready to represent you in your case to hold the manufacturer liable for its misconduct.
If you developed uterine fibroids, breast cancer, or another medical condition after using a hair relaxer, call Attorney Tom at (713) 244-6363 for a free consultation today. Let us help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.