Jenny Mitchell was the first to use chemicals straighten hair The product dates back to 2000 when she was in third grade, and nearly 20 years later the 32-year-old is claiming it was the cause of her development of uterine cancer.
Despite having no family history of the disease, Michelle had to undergo a complete hysterectomy to remove her uterus. good morning america,
She says that now, her chance to become a mother has been snatched away.
Lawsuit claims motherhood “dream” dashed for young woman needing hysterectomy due to chemical
“Not being able to carry my kids is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with,” she told GMA. “It’s a dream I’ve always wanted.”
Michelle, now represented by a group of lawyers including Ben Crump, is suing five hair relaxer manufacturing companies, one of which is L’Oreal USA, claiming their products caused cancer of her uterus. ,
The lawsuit, filed in Illinois, comes a week after the most recent study Published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and funded by the National Institutes of Health found that frequent users of chemical hair straightening products may be more likely to develop such cancers than those who do not use those products. We do.
Jenny Mitchell said she first started using chemical hair straightening products in 2000 when she was in third grade.
Nearly two decades later, Michelle, now 32, was diagnosed with uterine cancer, despite having no family history of the disease. https://t.co/A6zNtL7Jd9
— Good Morning America (@GMA) 25 October 2022
So far, the research only hinted at a possible link, with nearly 60 percent of the women in the study who reported using such hair-relaxing products were self-identified black women.
Michelle said she was “shocked” when she found out about the study.
“But at the same time, I also thought that maybe this could be the answer to my diagnosis,” she said.
This problem is more prevalent among women of color, who use a higher number of such products, study shows.
Mitchell, a black woman, said that many women like her face societal pressure to use hair relaxer products, which means it needs to be done every four weeks to meet American beauty standards. use, he said.
“As an African American woman, it’s the social norm to have your hair look a certain way,” she said. “’Don’t wear your natural hair because it looks unprofessional.’ A lot of women deal with it in all kinds of settings.”
She continued: “I look forward to becoming the voice for millions of other African American women because we start putting these chemical relaxers in our hair at such a young age.”
Other unnamed companies did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment, the outlet reports.
After tracking data from 34,000 women in the Sister Study for more than a decade, the institute found that mortality rates remain highest among non-Hispanic black women, with uterine cancer rates and deaths nationwide in recent years. growing in.
The Sister Study Project has tracked the health of nearly 50,000 women nationwide since 2003.
Study suggests hair relaxers contain endocrine disruptors, which affect hormone-sensitive cancers
The study specifically noted that chemical hair straighteners typically contain products known as endocrine disruptors, which can affect hormone-sensitive cancers, according to the outlet.
Those products contain parabens, bisphenol A, metals and formaldehyde, according to researchers in the NIH study.
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Madeleine Gainers.
And studies show that black women are twice as likely to die of uterine cancer than white women.
However, the researchers involved in the new student said “more research is needed” to determine whether hair-straightening chemicals show a direct link to an increased risk of uterine cancer.
A black Missouri woman has sued L’Oreal, saying its hair-straightening products cause uterine cancer.
Black women are more likely to use straighteners that studies link to a higher uterine cancer risk. Black women are 2 times more likely to die of uterine cancer than white women. pic.twitter.com/4IJ6mxolLQ
— aj+ (@ajplus) 25 October 2022
Attorney Crump hopes the lawsuit will bring more awareness to the issue of dangerous chemicals in hair relaxers
The study noted that the link between the products and uterine cancer is directly attributable to one another – something that Michele would have to prove in court.
In the meantime, Crump says she will spread awareness about harmful chemicals found in hair relaxers, enabling women to make more informed decisions about their health.
“Now that we have this knowledge, we have this information, it is up to us to bring them together,” he said. “We have to make this a public health crisis.”