Endometriosis & Hair Relaxers
Hair relaxer products are linked to endometriosis through the prevalence of the chemical phthalate DEHP.
Endometriosis is a condition caused by tissue that lines the uterus beginning to grow outside the uterus, according to the Mayo Clinic. The cause is unknown.
Endometriosis typically affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other parts of the pelvis. This tissue continues to bleed during periods as it would inside the uterus, but has no system to drain from the body, and instead collects inside the pelvis.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are symptoms of endometriosis:
- Painful periods (dysmenorrhea)
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain during bowel movements or urination
- Excessive bleeding
Endometriosis is diagnosed through surgery and the microscopic inspection of tissue surrounding the uterus. A report in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology mentions a “well-established delay of 4–11 years” between the first experience of symptoms and the time of diagnosis. “For many women,” that review states, “the journey to endometriosis diagnosis is long and fraught with barriers and misdiagnoses.”
Black women experience even more difficulty in receiving an accurate endometriosis diagnosis. This is partly caused by a common inaccurate diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disorder (PIV), a condition linked to sexually transmitted bacteria. According to a recent story in Shape magazine, “social factors, such as implicit bias and institutional racism, make it difficult for BIPOC women to get the treatment they need.”
Endometriosis is also linked to a higher rate of occurrence of ovarian cancer. The condition is progressive, meaning it will worsen over time.
The condition can be treated through pain medication, hormone therapy, targeted surgery to remove the tissue, or a hysterectomy.
Straightening & Hair Relaxers Linked to Adverse Events by National Institutes of Health
According to the wide-ranging survey released in October 2022, women who “frequently” use chemical hair straighteners, also known as relaxers, were more than twice as likely to develop uterine cancer during the course of the 11-year research project. As stated in the report, “hazardous chemicals,” including those that are endocrine-interrupting and/or carcinogenic, could be responsible for the link to increased uterine cancer occurrence.
These chemicals could include:
- Bispheonol A
- Formaldehyde, and
The results are of particular concern for Black women, who use relaxer products at a higher rate than other women. Roughly three-fifths of respondents who said they used chemical relaxers frequently were Black women.
Questions About a Hair Relaxer Endometriosis Lawsuit? Contact a Lawyer.
If you or a loved one developed endometriosis after using chemical hair relaxer products, you may want to speak with the lawyers at Johnson//Becker, PLLC. We are actively filing new product liability lawsuits across the country, and you may be entitled to financial compensation.
We offer a Free Case Evaluation. Please contact us using the form below or by calling us at (800) 279-6386. We would be honored to speak with you and respond promptly to every inquiry we receive.