Chemical Hair Straightener Litigation Advances to Discovery

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Lawsuits Against Cosmetic Giants For Cancer-Linked Chemical Hair Straighteners Advance To Discovery, With Cases Centralized In Illinois.

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against cosmetic industry leaders like L'Oréal, Strength of Nature, Revlon, and Soft Sheen, accusing them of selling chemical hair straighteners that allegedly cause cancer. These legal actions, now totaling 8,378, are centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 

Plaintiffs in these cases claim that the manufacturers failed to adequately inform the public about the potential risks, particularly the increased likelihood of developing uterine, endometrial, and ovarian cancers.

Discovery phase underway in growing litigation

Currently litigation has entered the discovery phase, a crucial period of evidence gathering. The number of cases has surged from 7,967 in November 2023. This phase will be extensive, given the thousands of claims to be examined.

Central to the litigation are stories like that of Jenny Mitchell, who attributes her uterine cancer to prolonged use of chemical hair straighteners. With scientific studies backing claims of increased cancer risks, plaintiffs argue these products contain dangerous chemicals like phthalates.

Additionally, the alleged targeted marketing of these hair straighteners, particularly to Black women, raises issues of consumer safety and marketing ethics. The lawsuits suggest a deliberate targeting by companies, leading to a higher incidence of health problems in this demographic.

The science behind the lawsuits

The influx of legal action gained momentum following a 2022 National Institutes of Health study, which indicated a more than doubled risk of uterine cancer in women who frequently used chemical hair straighteners. 

This finding, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, alongside other research linking these products to uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and breast cancer, has been a catalyst for the litigation. Additional studies have linked chemical hair straighteners to an increased risk of uterine fibroids, endometriosis and breast cancer.

A long road to legal resolution

With no trials or global settlements yet, the number of lawsuits is expected to continue to  rise. The litigation over chemical hair straighteners is not just about compensation but also about highlighting public health issues and pushing for corporate accountability in product safety disclosures.

If you've used a chemical hair straightener and have been diagnosed with uterine, endometrial, or ovarian cancer, you might qualify to pursue legal action through a chemical hair straightener lawsuit.

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