Hair relaxers are chemical products that help straighten or smoothen hair. Although these products have been used for decades, a recent study has associated prolonged use with the increased risk of developing uterine cancer.
Uterine cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer among women and accounts for 3% of new cancer cases in the country.
Victims who suspect a link between the use of chemical hair relaxers and the development of uterine cancer can now seek damages by filing hair relaxer cancer lawsuits with the help of the experienced attorneys at Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers.
Lawyers for Filing Hair Relaxer Lawsuits
Our law firm handles complex personal injury cases by combining experience with personalized client service to seek the best legal recourse for our clients.
At Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers, we can help you seek legal damages from manufacturers of hair relaxer products who portray criminal conduct in the design, development, testing, labeling, marketing, promotion, distribution, and sale of hair relaxer products that cause uterine cancer.
We have a team with a wealth of experience practicing law at the state and federal levels. As a recipient of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 award, we can guide you through your case by:
- Helping you file a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit.
- Pursue uterine cancer personal injury damages.
- Seek compensation to cover your short- and long-term medical treatment expenses.
We also extend our help to uterine cancer survivors and family members of those who died from the disease after using hair relaxers for a lengthy period.
The Link Between Relaxers and Cancer
In recent months, studies have begun associating the prolonged use of hair relaxer products with an increased risk of developing uterine cancer among users. This association is because these products contain ingredients that can disrupt or change how the human endocrine system functions.
The endocrine system refers to the network of glands that control bodily processes. Their primary function is the production of hormones that regulate moods, body metabolism, and growth and development. The human endocrine system also controls the release of these hormones and dispatches them into the bloodstream.
A recent study by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that using chemical hair straightening products increases the chances of developing uterine cancer among women. This increase is because most of these products contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
According to the study, exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in hair straighteners can affect how cells in the human body operate. It is not uncommon to find the extended use of hair straightening products causing the emergence of burns and lesions on the human scalp. Once you develop these burns and lesions, an excess amount of endocrine-disrupting chemicals can be absorbed into the scalp.
In the long run, this process can lead to endocrine disruption, respiratory problems, and uterine cancer.
Cancer-Causing Ingredients in Hair Relaxers
The EDCs contained in hair straightening products are hazardous to the human body. These chemicals can instigate hormonal imbalance and introduce cancer-causing properties in the body.
Examples of these toxic chemicals are parabens, Bisphenol A, and formaldehyde, as we explain below.
- Parabens: These are artificial preservatives widely used in beauty and body care products. Parabens can mimic the work of estrogen (steroid hormones that enhance the development and maintenance of female biological characteristics) in the body and end up disrupting reproductive system functioning, fertility, birth outcomes, and reproductive development
- Bisphenol A: This chemical compound is an essential component in the manufacture of various plastics. Exposure to Bisphenol A has potential health effects on blood pressure, cardiovascular functions, and brain activity
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a common carcinogen that can cause respiratory challenges, eye irritation, and skin irritation. Humans can develop certain types of cancer when exposed to high amounts of formaldehyde
- Other metals: Most hair straightening products contain cyclosiloxanes, lead, aluminum, and cadmium. Although these metals are used in small amounts, they can trigger skin irritations among some users and, eventually, cancer
Who Is Most At-Risk for Developing Cancer from Hair Relaxers?
The NIH research found that Black women are most at risk of developing cancer from hair relaxers. This risk is because approximately 60% of the study participants who had developed the disease self-identified as Black women.
Although the study failed to establish why Black women are predisposed to uterine cancer developed from the use of these products, a likely cause is the prevalence of use among the population.
Black women are more likely to use hair straightening products that contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals than other races and ethnicities. The excessive use of these products exposes them to cancer when the dangerous chemicals contained therein are absorbed through the scalp.
Who Can File a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?
You qualify for filing a hair relaxer lawsuit if you have developed uterine cancer after using relaxers for a lengthy period. In addition, uterine cancer survivors and family members of those who died from the disease after using hair relaxers for prolonged periods can file a hair relaxer lawsuit.
How Long Do You Have to File a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?
Based on Florida’s mass tort statute of limitations, victims have up to four years to file a hair relaxer lawsuit.
A statute of limitations ensures that cases can be heard within a reasonable period of time. These laws also ensure that cases are heard when evidence is still available. Like all other states, Florida has its own statute of limitations, which is the legal method of describing the nature of personal injuries caused by accidents.
As Florida’s statute of limitations recommends four years, victims of hair relaxer personal injuries must file lawsuits within this timeline.
However, there are some exceptions. For instance, the timeline for filing a lawsuit can be extended if you have just recently discovered the development of uterine cancer in your body, regardless of when the problem began.
The best course of action is to consult a personal injury attorney at the earliest opportunity so that they can analyze your eligibility for filing a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit.
Risks and Treatments of Uterine Cancer
In this section, we explain the commonness of uterine cancer and its associated symptoms. We also discuss detection and available forms of treatment.
The prevalence of uterine cancer
Findings place uterine cancer as the most common type of gynecologic cancer and the fourth most common among women. In the United States, around 65,950 people are diagnosed with the disease every year, indicating the prevalence of the disease. In addition, between 2015 and 2019, the number of deaths from the disease rose by around 1% each year.
The disease occurs more among Black women than White women, although findings are yet to establish the cause of this phenomenon. Nevertheless, the death rate has stabilized in recent years, with more than 600,000 uterine cancer survivors currently living in the country.
Certain factors can enhance your risk of developing uterine cancer. We explain them below in detail.
- Age: Most uterine cancer victims are over 50 years old, with 60 years being the average diagnostic age
- Race: As we have stated, race is another determining factor. For example, Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced uterine cancer than women of other races or ethnicities
- Genetics: Women whose families have a history of colon cancer are predisposed to uterine cancer. If some of your family members have been diagnosed with Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer) in the past, it is essential that you have your tumors tested for the disease
- Obesity: Women who are overweight produce additional amounts of estrogen, which can increase the risk of developing uterine cancer
- Type 2 diabetes: This chronic ailment is also associated with increased uterine cancer risk, especially among obese women
- Estrogen imbalances: Having excessive amounts of estrogen in the body is a significant risk factor. It is vital to remember that most hair relaxers can affect how estrogen is produced and dispatched to other parts of the body
The symptoms of uterine cancer
The symptoms of uterine cancer resemble those of many other diseases, especially if they affect your reproductive organs.
Nevertheless, the following are the most common signs.
- Vaginal bleeding between periods among women who have not reached menopause.
- Cramping or lower abdominal pain in your pelvis.
- Vaginal bleeding post-menopause.
- Heavy, extremely prolonged, or frequent vaginal bleeding in women above 40 years.
- The discharging of thin white vaginal fluids in postmenopausal women.
Uterine cancer detection
Today, several medical tests can be used to diagnose uterine cancer. Your suitability for any test discussed below depends on the type of cancer, your age, signs and symptoms, your general bodily health, and whether you have tested for uterine cancer in the past.
- Pelvic examination: During a pelvic exam, the doctor checks for unusual findings in the lower abdomen by inserting one or two lubricated fingers into your vagina. The aim is to explore the shape, position, and size of the uterus and ovaries
- Endometrial biopsy: The doctor obtains a tissue sample from the endometrium and analyzes it under a microscope. The objective is to check for any cell abnormalities
- Transvaginal ultrasound: This process entails using ultrasound to create visual representations of your inner vagina and uterus
- Dilation and curettage (D&C): Doctors use this procedure to remove tissue samples from a patient’s uterus. The tissues are then analyzed for cancer cells and other conditions
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRI scans involve the use of magnetic fields to create detailed images of the uterus, which is helpful when analyzing the size of tumors
- Computed tomography (CT) scans: This diagnostic procedure is similar to an MRI scan, although computed tomography scans rely on imagery generated with the help of x-rays rather than magnetic fields
- Biomarker tumor testing: Biomarker testing entails the use of lab tests to collect tumor samples and check for proteins and genes that are unique to a patient’s tumor. The process is also referred to as the molecular testing of the tumor
Uterine cancer treatment options
Once doctors have diagnosed you with uterine cancer, they create a customized treatment plan depending on the nature of your condition, age, possible side effects, personal preferences, and overall health.
The main treatment options for uterine cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy.
Status of the Hair Relaxer Class Action Lawsuit
In a recent case filed on 19th January 2023, plaintiffs sought damages from L’Oréal, Nature Global, and other defendants. The plaintiffs argued that they had developed uterine cancer following the prolonged use of hair relaxer products manufactured by these companies.
The plaintiffs aim to be awarded damages for personal injuries related to the defendants’ criminal conduct in the design, development, testing, labeling, marketing, promoting, distribution, and selling of certain hair relaxer products.
Therefore, based on these proceedings and the findings associating the use of hair relaxation products with uterine cancer, it is now possible to file similar lawsuits within the United States.
In what is seen as a step in the right direction, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation now allows class action in a bid to centralize all hair-relaxer-associated lawsuits. As of February 2023, there were about 60 pending cases in federal courts across the US.
File a Lawsuit for Cancer From Hair Relaxers
Contact an experienced injury attorney in Pensacola, Florida about hair relaxer cancer lawsuits. At Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers, we have a team of attorneys who can help you seek product liability damages if the use of hair relaxer products has caused the development of uterine cancer in your body or if you have lost a loved one due to the disease.
You can reach out to us online or call us at (850) 444-0000 for a free consultation regarding your hair straightener cancer complaint.
FAQs About Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuits
What compensation can I receive from a hair relaxer cancer lawsuit?
Victims, survivors, or family members of uterine cancer can seek damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
What steps are involved when filing a hair cancer relaxer lawsuit?
A personal injury lawyer can help you obtain medical records from your doctor, prove the link between hair relaxer use and uterine cancer, and submit your product liability lawsuit claim.
What is a hair relaxer cancer class action?
A class action involves the coming together of people with uterine cancer to file lawsuits as a group. The process is efficient and cost-effective and increases the chances of being awarded damages.