Hair Straightener Cancer Lawyer in New York City
New Yorkers should be able to trust the hair products they use. Unfortunately, federal public health researchers have discovered a link between chemical hair relaxers and certain cancers. When cosmetic companies know their products could cause adverse effects but do not warn their customers, they should be held accountable for the harm they cause.
If you were diagnosed with breast, uterine, or endometrial cancer after using a chemical hair relaxer, you could be entitled to legal compensation from the company that made the product. You should not be left suffering when a big company puts profits over people. The product liability attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., are ready to demand justice on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options in a free initial consultation.
What Are Chemical Hair Relaxers?
Hair relaxers are potent chemical products used to straighten curly hair and reduce frizz. Salon-grade relaxers often use sodium hydroxide as their active ingredient, while other solutions for home use contain calcium hydroxide. No matter which ingredient a manufacturer uses, hair relaxers break down bonds in hair fibers to straighten them. The effect wears off over time, and users must reapply the cream to their hair every 8-12 weeks.
What are the Health Consequences of Exposure to Hair Relaxers?
In 2003, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) began an extensive study to identify environmental factors, including hair-relaxer use, that could cause breast cancer. Researchers enrolled 50,000 women nationwide, testing laboratory samples and asking them about their health and lifestyle. Eight hundred fifty-five participants were diagnosed with uterine or endometrial cancer during the study period. The NIEHS continues to analyze data from the study.
In 2022, another study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that participants who frequently used hair relaxers had double the risk of developing uterine cancer compared to those who did not. Some possible adverse effects from hair relaxer exposure include the following:
- Breast cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Immune system suppression
- Premature menopause
- Reproductive problems (including premature birth or miscarriage)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Thyroid cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Uterine fibroids
Which Chemicals in Hair Relaxers Cause Cancer?
Many hair relaxers use fragrances, preservatives, and other additives (e.g., phthalates). These endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can disrupt the body’s natural hormones in a variety of ways, such as:
- Behaving like a hormone
- Blocking hormones from reaching a receptor
- Intercepting signals the endocrine system uses to function
- Making the body produce more or less of a hormone
- Manipulating how many hormone receptors are available
There are many types of EDCs. Therefore, researchers do not have a single, precise answer for why they cause cancer. However, we know that exposure to small amounts of EDCs over long periods of time is strongly correlated with developing or worsening cancer.
What Hair Relaxers Are Linked to Cancer?
Any hair relaxer with endocrine-disrupting chemicals could pose a cancer risk. Some of the hair relaxer brands with lawsuits pending against them include:
- Dark & Lovely
- Olive Oil
- Sort & Beautiful
- TCB Naturals
Plaintiffs bringing lawsuits against these companies argue that the manufacturers did not warn consumers about the health risks associated with their hair straighteners.
How Do I Know If I Have a Chemical Hair Relaxer Case?
The best way to know if you have a viable hair relaxer lawsuit is to consult with an experienced products liability attorney. At Finz & Finz, P.C., our legal team offers free, no-obligation case reviews. We are ready to evaluate your case, make sure you know your rights, and discuss your legal options with you.
In general, there are certain criteria that will make for a stronger legal claim. First, you must have used hair relaxers at least four times a year for two years or more. Further, within five years of your last use, you must have suffered a health consequence (e.g., cancer) that can be linked to chemicals in the hair relaxer you used. Common cancers caused by repetitive use of hair relaxers include:
- Uterine cancer – Endometrial cancer is the most frequently-occurring form of uterine cancer. However, those diagnosed with uterine sarcoma could also file a cancer lawsuit.
- Ovarian cancer – You could qualify to file an ovarian cancer lawsuit depending on the specifics of your diagnosis.
- Uterine fibroids – Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors in the uterus. Fibroid patients may qualify if they were diagnosed under age 40 and had a hysterectomy, myomectomy, or fibroidectomy for treatment.
To receive compensation, you must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that your use of hair relaxers caused your illness and associated pain, suffering, and monetary losses. To satisfy this requirement, your attorney will evaluate available evidence, such as:
- Medical case files documenting your diagnosis and treatment
- Medical bills itemizing the cost of your treatment
- Information about the hair relaxers you purchased and used
- Journal entries and other evidence detailing how your diagnosis affects your daily life
- Paystubs documenting your lost wages and earning capacity
What Damages Can I Recover from a Chemical Hair Relaxer Lawsuit?
Products liability lawsuits can be very complex. However, if a link is established between the repetitive use of a hair relaxer and medical side effects, you could be entitled to compensation for the economic and non-economic impact your illness has on your life. For example, you could recover compensation for things like:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Lowered earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost enjoyment of life
Importantly, New York’s product liability statute of limitations applies to hair relaxer cancer lawsuits. This means you generally have three years from the date you first discovered symptoms to file a lawsuit. The earlier we can begin preparing your case, the better your odds of success will be.
Contact the Chemical Hair Relaxer Lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C., to Pursue Compensation
Were you diagnosed with ovarian or uterine cancer after using chemical hair relaxers? Let the New York City products liability attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., pursue justice and accountability on your behalf. We have decades of experience and have recovered millions on behalf of our clients. We will always treat you with empathy and honesty, and you will never pay us anything unless we win your case. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a chemical hair relaxer lawyer in New York City.