31 Oct Lawsuit Claims French Personal Care Company L’oreal’s Hair Straighteners Caused Woman’s Cancer
woman from Missouri is suing French personal care and beauty company L'Oreal, claiming that their hair straighteners caused her uterine cancer.
The lawsuit was filed in the federal court in Chicago; a few days after
The researchers analyzed the data result from over 33,000 women who are participating in the ongoing Sister Study, a large investigation into risk factors for breast cancer and other related health conditions of women in the cohort.
The Results Of The Study
L’oreal French headquarters in Paris, France
The results of the study reported that Black women who use hair straightening or relaxer products, made up only about 7.4% of the study participants but 60% of those who reported ever using hair straighteners, showed the strongest link between the use of hair straightening products and uterine cancer cases.
After almost 11 years of follow-up, those women who reported using chemical hair straightening products were nearly twice as likely to develop cancer in the uterus than those who did not. This result is obtained after adjusting for some of the other factors that might affect risk. Women who reported their frequent use of straighteners (with more than 4 times from the previous year) were about 2.5 times more likely to develop uterine cancer.
No correlation was discovered by the researchers between the possibility of developing uterine cancer while using other hair products such as highlights, hair dyes, and perms.
The findings were published on October 17, 2022. You can read the entire journal article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The History Of Use Of L’oreal Hair Straightener Product
According to Jennifer Mitchell, who was the plaintiff who filed a lawsuit against L’oreal, her uterine cancer was diagnosed in 2018. This is after 18 years since she started using the company’s products in 2000 when she was only ten years old.
Jenny Mitchell’s cancer, according to the lawsuit, “was directly and proximately caused by her regular and prolonged exposure to phthalates and other endocrine disrupting chemicals”. Jennifer is requesting the court to order the beauty company giant to pay an unspecified amount for damages as well as the cost of monitoring her health.
L’Oreal did not respond immediately when requested for a comment about the lawsuit on their hair straightening products.
Diandra Debrosse Zimmermann, the lawyer representing Jennifer Mitchell said that more lawsuits with similar circumstances will likely be filed soon, saying “many women will be coming forward in the coming weeks and months to seek accountability.”
According to Cancer.net, the patient information website of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), cancer in the uterus is the fourth most common cancer of the reproductive system in women in the United States.
Results Of The Study Could Be Relevant To Black Women
According to NIEHS researcher fellow Che-Jung Chang, the most recent study could be particularly relevant to Black girls and women because they start using chemical hair straighteners at a younger age and use hair straightener products more frequently compared to people of other races.
Mitchell claims that L’Oreal targets their marketing for their hair straightening products towards Black girls and women, without disclosing the risks involved, even though the company has been aware of the potential dangers of the chemicals used in these products since 2015.
The company “profited, significantly” from “unethical and illegal conduct that caused the plaintiff to purchase and habitually use a dangerous and defective product,” said in the lawsuit.
The Sister Study is conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health, of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Cancer Facts & Figures 2022, the ACS website, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer website.