United States: Hair relaxers on trial for carcinogenic risks | International

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A nationwide class action lawsuit launched in the United States against a dozen cosmetic brands alleges that certain hair relaxer products, used particularly by black women, contain chemicals that increase the risk of uterine cancer and fail to provide warnings about this danger. to their consumers.

The controversy began in October of last year when the United States Institutes of Health published a study where an association was found, although not of direct cause, between the continuous use of these capital products and the appearance of uterine cancer. According to this analysis, which included a total of 34,000 women, those who used relaxing products more than four times in the past year were twice as likely to develop uterine cancer as those who did not use these products.

Hair straighteners have been found to include phthalates, parabens, cyclosiloxanes and metals, and can release formaldehyde when heated. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and has been linked to nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia, according to the World Health Organization. The NIH study said phthalates and other chemicals are suspected endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with the body's hormones and are suspected of contributing to cancer risk.

More than 6,000 cases have been added to the lawsuit. The case has also been amplified by some activists to talk about European beauty standards applied to black women's curly hair.

L'Oreal and Revlon, two of the brands involved in the lawsuit, have insisted that no direct cause has been found between their products and uterine cancer, demanding more research into the matter. Additionally, the plaintiffs have had obstacles in proving that they used certain products because they did not have receipts for them.

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Nathan Rivera
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