Kenya Appling's dream of having a child was shattered when, just four months after her wedding in September 2021, she was diagnosed with uterine #cancer. At the age of 42, she underwent a hysterectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment, which left her devastated and unable to conceive. Appling believes her cancer was caused by the chemical hair straighteners she had used regularly since childhood.
She is among a growing number of #Blackwomen who have filed lawsuits against companies like #LOreal and #Revlon, alleging that their chemical hair straighteners have caused them irreparable harm and infertility. Research from the National Institutes of Health and Boston University has indicated an increased risk of uterine cancer associated with these products, although they have not definitively proven causation.
More than 90% of the affected women have had hysterectomies, while others have undergone myomectomy procedures to remove uterine tumors or fibroids. L'Oréal and Revlon have declined to comment and are seeking to dismiss the lawsuits.
The increased awareness of the potential dangers of these products provides little solace to women like Bree-Shawna Watts, who underwent a hysterectomy after being diagnosed with uterine cancer. Black women are disproportionately affected, and uterine cancer is projected to become the third most common cancer among women by 2040.
Experts call for stricter regulation and labeling of these products, given the potential risks, especially to Black women. Many affected women hope their lawsuits will lead to greater awareness and accountability while shedding light on the physical and psychological trauma of cancer and its treatment.
We'll continue to follow this story for future updates.
Link: NBC News