A recent news report from #NBC News looked into Chemical hair relaxers' impact on the health of #BlackWomen and substantial calls for action. New studies have shed light on the connection between these products, which alter hair by breaking down proteins, and heightened risks of uterine #cancer—meanwhile, Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Shontel Brown urged the #FDA to propose a ban on products containing formaldehyde, a known carcinogen used in hair-straightening treatments.
Legal actions against major beauty retailers like #LOreal and #Revlon have emerged, as numerous Black individuals attribute their health issues—uterine cancer, fibroid tumors, and infertility—to the use of chemical hair straighteners. A study by Boston University's Black Women's Health Study revealed a heightened risk of uterine cancer among postmenopausal Black women using these products for extended periods.
Lead author Kimberly Bertrand emphasized the importance of understanding these risks, advocating for policies to minimize exposure, and identify safer alternatives. Pressley highlighted the systemic racial biases that have pushed Black women to conform to Eurocentric beauty standards, risking their health for societal acceptance.
Multiple studies have pointed to the adverse health effects of chemical hair relaxers, associating them with uterine and breast cancer, fibroids, early puberty in girls, and infertility due to endocrine-disrupting chemicals like phthalates and parabens.
The safety of chemical hair relaxers remains a concern. Despite different labeling and marketing, products containing harmful ingredients pose risks. Stricter regulations and the promotion of safer alternatives are recommended to reduce exposure to these chemicals.
While understanding the precise reasons for the increased risk of uterine cancer among Black women remains ongoing, researchers are exploring various factors, including environmental influences, racism, and genetic predispositions.
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