L’Oreal Paris Hair Straightening Products Cause Uterine Cancer In A Woman- Lawsuit Claims

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : October 26, 2022

L’Oreal, the French cosmetic company, has been sued by a Missouri woman who alleges that she contracted uterine cancer as a result of using their hair straightening products. The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Chicago, came days after the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Safety (NIEHS) found that hair straightening products may significantly increase the risk of uterine cancer among frequent users. The study found that women who used hair straightening products more than four times a year were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer compared with others who did not use the products. The study was conducted on 33,497 U.S. women between the ages of 35 and 74, who were evaluated over a period of 11 years. At that time, 378 participants were diagnosed with uterine cancer.

Lawsuit Claims That L’oreal Paris Hair Straightening Products Lead To Uterine Cancer In A Woman

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, counsel Diandra Debrosse Zimmermann and others filed a lawsuit Friday in Illinois on behalf of 32-year-old Jenny Mitchell. In the lawsuit, it was claimed that Mitchell’s uterine cancer was directly caused by her prolonged exposure to phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in the complainant’s hair care products.

 L'Oreal Paris Hair Straightening Products Cause Uterine Cancer In A Woman

 At a news conference Monday, Mitchell said that she remembers getting hair relaxers around third grade when she was about 8 years old. Mitchell was diagnosed with uterine cancer on August 10, 2018, as mentioned in the lawsuit. She underwent a full hysterectomy at Boone Hospital Center in Missouri on September 24, 2018. Mitchell said that at the very young age of 28 she lost all her hopes of becoming a mother. In the lawsuit, she also claimed that there was no family history of cancer or uterine cancer.

The use of chemical relaxers and chemical straighteners is high among African American girls. Mitchell shared her apprehension about girls using such products at a very young age. She shared her thoughts on how society had made it a norm to look a certain way, in order to feel a certain way. She made it clear that she will be the first of many voices to come that will stand, stand up to these companies and say ‘No more.’

Mitchel used chemical hair straightening products from around 2000 until March 2022, and she is seeking compensation in excess of $75,000, according to the lawsuit. Complaints were filed against more companies. In California and New York, complaints were filed against cosmetic companies including L’Oreal, noting the connection between chemical hair straightening products and cancer diagnoses. Debrosse Zimmermann ensured that they will represent more women in filing cases and hopes that more and more women will come forward.

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The Journal of the National Cancer Institute estimates that among women who frequently use a hair straightening chemical products, the risk of developing uterine cancer by age 70 is around 4%. In women who did not use hair straightening chemical products in the previous 12 months, the risk of developing uterine cancer by age 70 is estimated to be 1.6%. 

It is a fact noted by researchers that black women tend to use chemical hair straightening products more frequently than White women. There are several factors for this. The Eurocentric standards of beauty and social pressures are the major factors behind this obsession. The advertisements of these brands portray White European characteristics as ideal, and others are looked down upon. Black and curly hair are shown in a bad light in contrast to golden straight hair. Thus, many Black and Latina women fall for dangerous products marketed by these companies. Ms. Mitchell’s tragic case is one of the countless cases in which companies aggressively misled black women to increase their profits.  

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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